Significance of Gaan-ngai
Akham Gonmei *
Gaan Ngai Celebrations at Majorkhul Imphal :: January 18, 2011
Autumn Season brings joy and festive mood in the Zeliangrong habitats of the north eastern region of India. Recognised as Kabui and Kacha Naga scheduled Tribes, the Zeme, Liangmei, Rongmei and Puimei constitute a composite tribe of kindred entity.
The Zeliangrong people occupy a compact geographical block consisting Tamenglong District of Manipur, Peren District of Nagaland and further fragmented administrative bifurcations in Cachar district, N.C. Hills of Assam, Senapati, Churachandpur, Imphal East & West, Thoubal and Bishnupur district of Manipur. Zeliangrong population is estimated as 3 lacs approximately.
Significance of Gaan-ngai:
Gaan-ngai, the festival of lights and victory
Gaan-ngai signifies victory over evils with during "Amangh Kaisumei" (feast of merit and painted house or Tarangkai ceremony) in the Zeliangrong mythology. Man and Tiger held competition to extract/ignite fire from a wooden log, called "Ringhmaigang" by rubbing it with a bamboo flint to acquire power to rule the earth as declared by Haipou Amangh, the mystic Godly man who built the first traditional house of dignity (Tarangkai) following the example set by God of earth and host of combined God-man dormitory (Khangchu), Tingpu Liangsonang.
Man won the test of igniting sacred fire and was given the authority over all creatures God of earth blessed man to win the war with earthly gods who failed to obey their master God.
To celebrate this victory a festival called Gaan-ngai i.e. Gaan means light, ngai means festival, the festival of fire light was first held for just one day. The festival began with "Mhairapmei" or igniting/extracting fire to signify the victory over evil and darkness.
In course a time, more days were added one after another with special functions till the festival become a seven day long festival/affair.
* Akham Gonmei wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on January 09, 2012.
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