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Gaan Ngai festival celebrated by The Zeliangrong Community

The Zeliangrong community celebrates the Gaan Ngai festival. For the Kabui/Rongmei Naga tribe, Gaan-Ngai is the prime festival out of many festivals celebrated. It is mainly performed by the devotees and followers of Zeliangrong Indigenous religion of ‘Heraka’ and ‘Tingkao Ragwang Chap-Riak’ cults.

THE COMMUNITIES CELEBRATING GAAN-NGAI

The Zeliangrong community primarily inhabit the northeastern Indian states of Manipur, Assam, and Nagaland.

ALTERNATIVE NAME

The Gaan Ngai festival is also known as Chakaan Gaan-Ngai among the Zeliangrong Nagas.

THE FESTIVAL

Gaan-Ngai Festival

Gaan-Ngai is a post harvest festival. It is held annually.

  1. To mark the end of harvest season.
  2. To organize sports and games for the youth of the village in stone throwing, long-jump, race on the opening day of the festival with Hoi procession through the village.
  3. To mark the heralding of the new year and new fire is produced by rubbing of dry wood and split bamboos pieces. and the new fire is distributed to every household.
  4. To perform commemorative dances for those who are declared queen and kings of the Phaak (a kind of grass) after a trekking competition in a nearby hill or mountain peaks (long—Luimei).
  5. To worship Tingkao Ragwang, the Almighty God as a thanks-giving for the good harvest and prayer for a successful and long life in the coming year.
  6. To the girls who are going to be married.
  7. To those members of the dormitory who died in the previous year.
  8. To those members of the male dormitory of the rank of Khangbon who are given farewell.
  9. To organize a feast of the womenfolk and other ranked institutions.
  10. To organise singing competition of folk songs between boys and girls at girls’ dormitory.
  11. To perform the sacrifice and worship for the deities of the village.
  12. To perform the art of Drum Beating to different types.
  13. To perform rituals and rites such as Raren Loumei i.e. the worship of all the Gods on the last day.
  14. To teach the boys and girls how to maintain strict discipline in the society by the elders.

THE ZELIANGRONGS

The socio-cultural agricultural fest of Chakaan Gaan-Ngai is the principal annual event among the followers of the indigenous Rongmei community.

It is celebrated in the Rongmei lunar calendar of ‘Gaan-Bu’. According to the Gregorian calendar, Gaan-Ngai falls in November-December.

On the other hand in Manipur, Gaan-Ngai is celebrated on the 13th day of ‘Wakching’ (according to the Meetei Manipuri Calendar)

The writer — Nilutpal Gogoi is an entrepreneur, senior journalist, writer, translator (from Assamese to English & vice versa), avid traveller, British English Accent & grammar trainer, educationist, and martial arts (Taekwondo) practitioner.

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