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Gudui Ngai : Festival of Zeliangrong

Daniel Chabungbam *

Gudui Ngai, Zeliangrong festival , celebration at Majorkhul Rongmei village :: 7th May 2017  .
Gudui Ngai, Zeliangrong festival , celebration at Majorkhul Rongmei village on 7th May 2017



Gudui Ngai is a popular festival of Zeliangrong inhabitants of North East; (Gudui means ginger soup and Ngai, festival).

It is a festival of worship of Tingkao Ragwang, the Supreme God for plentiful harvest. It is celebrated on the 13th day of Guduibu (May) for one day after completing the seed sowing works in the field.

In the early morning of the festival, every household of the village does perform a ritual called Malengkeimei/Tingbankmei, offering of Zou-ngao (rice-beer) and Gutam (crushed ginger) to Tingkao Ragwang and Kangdailu, rice goddess with relevant religious hymn.

It is performed at the courtyard by the head of the family or an elder of Pei, village council. Napkao, calling of paddy is also performed in every household by sacrificing a big and beautiful cock to Tingkao Ragwang.

The intestine of the victim (Loirei) is removed and hung on the outer side of the wall near the main door of the house in the belief that Kangdailu sees it hanging; she is pleased to distribute the paddy (Nap).

Gudui Ngai, Zeliangrong festival , celebration at Majorkhul Rongmei village :: 7th May 2017  .
Gudui Ngai, Zeliangrong festival , celebration at Majorkhul Rongmei village on 7th May 2017



The main purpose of this festival is for timely rainfall of the season, to grow the paddy plants well and nourish and to root to the soil, expand its stems quickly not causing any disturbances by insects or pesticides or warding off decease etc.

It is believed that ginger represents the toes of formless Creator, Tingkao Ragwang. They use Gu, ginger in important ritual worships, sometimes to ward off evil forces (Rasi-Rarou).

Drinking of ginger soup means one is holy and blessed. In Gudui Ngai, ginger soup mixed with chicken meat is served to every member of the family for good health and long life. It also signifies the deliverance of life from hunger during scarcity or famine.

In the afternoon, people organize entertainment programme in which there is a Duidom Phaimei (throwing of the water put in a plantain leaf container) among the boys and girls (Tuna Gaan) followed by Loijaimei, (pulling of rope) tug of war between boys and girls, males and females as a symbolic representation of competition between gods and goddesses for possessing the paddy.

It is usually performed at the Danshanpung (village jumping ground) and girls ritually win the game, for there would be good yield in the year.


* Daniel Chabungbam is a frequent contributor to e-pao.net
This article was posted on May 15, 2017.


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