TODAY -

Sajibu Cheiraoba
( Meitei New Year Day )

By: N Mangi Devi *

Sajibu Cheiraoba is an important traditional festival of the Meiteis held in every house on the first day of Sajibu month (April) every year.

Sajibu and Cheiraoba are two different words implying two different meanings :- "Sajibu" indicating the first season out of six seasons to make a year and "Cheiraoba" indicating the end of the year and beginning of a new year according to Meitei calender.

Family which is the smallest unit of a society holds the central position in the celebration to bring peace, harmony and prosperity for the family. It touches on all aspects of life with its essence be it the body mind, spiritual, social and emotional desires.

Preliminary works for the celebration are done well ahead of the day of the festival. Such as the cleaning of the house and furniture even utensils of the kitchen and shopping for purchases of new cloths for parents, brother and sisters etc.

Offering of cooked foods to Hanu Kokchao and Hanu Leikham (the guarding dieties) at the gate of every house on Cheiraoba


The ceremonial part starts early in the morning. The women of every house prepare Athelpot containing fine whole rice, raw vegetables of different kinds, fruits and flowers of the new season. Athelpot is meant for offering to Lainingthou Sanamahi and Leimarel Ima Sidabi at the altars placed on southwestern corner and middle north corner of the house respectively.

Prayers are made by all the members of the family. After it the offered foodstuffs such as rice and vegetables etc. will be cooked and made different varieties of dishes by female members of the family.

Then the cooked food will be placed on nicely round-cut plantain leaves and offer to Emoinu Ima at the fire place of home and the same food will also be offered at the gate of the house to the god spirits known as Hanu-Kokchao and Hanu Leikham with a prayer not to disturb the happiness and to defend the family from sorrows and difficulties during the whole coming year.

After finishing these offerings all the members ofthe family will dine together in a pleasing mood and making jokes merrily to each others. Varieties of foods are also shared with the neighbours to get different tastes of different families. Every one in each and every family enjoy taking the choicest food.

At evening people of both genders male and female, young and old and children put on fine dress and climb nearby hills where they worship the gods and goddesses of the locality, sometimes Siva-Durga, Panthoibi etc. Younger people mainly married women go to their parents at the evening and offer new clothes to their parents, brothers and sisters and seek their blessings. Thus they revere their elders with love and respect. This is a social event with a motive of love and unity.

Climbing of Cheiraoching (Hills) after the grand feast on the day of Cheiraoba


In Manipur Sajibu Cheiraoba is observed on two different days,
(i) Sajibu Nongma Panba - the first day of Sajibu by traditional Sanamahi Laininglup
(ii) on the day of Charak Puja of Bengal which was introduced by Bhagyachandra Maharaja (1760 A.D. Saka year 1682). But the system and method of observation are the same to both sections of the society. The first one is following lunar year and the later is of the solar year from the astrological point of view.

Significance of Sajibu Cheiraoba - It is believed that on the first day of Sajibu month (April) the cosmic Universal God -Sidaba Lainingthou Sanamahi (Immortal Almighly) stays sitting on the atlar of the house (south west corner) waiting for the offerings from his devotees. This day is a rare and most sacred day of the year for on this day the honest devotees of Lainingthou Sanamahi of seven yeksalais (clans) of Kangleipak do offer different varieties ofvegetables, fruits and flowers of the new season to Sanamahi, Laimaren Ima and Imoinu Ima and other spirits of the land and pray for the welfare of the coming year and seek the grace of Almighty God.

Thus every house arranges grand feast that are shared with their neighbours. During this month all seeds sown in the previous month of Lamda, (March) sprouted buds of the seedlings are coming out to yield natural shape and colour. Analogically seeds of nine kind of species say human beings, animals, fishes, insects, mosquitoes, trees, bamboos, pulses and plants have sprouted and shown their heads like horns of saji(deer) as designed by Almighty God as saji (deer) changes its horn. That is why the great significance of the first day of Sajibu month that people can enjoy life to the full as the nature expresses herself with a calm weather and plenty.

Beautiful blue flower "Komberei" (Eupatarium Odaratum)
The flower that form part of the celebration of Cheiraoba


Cheitharol Kumbaba (Royal Chronicles) - Reign of Meidingu Lairen Naophangba say 428-518 B.C. Cheiraoba - Indication of end of the year and beginning of a new year. A responsible king's servant riding a horse binding a bell and flag on a wooden pole giving the message on the streets and celebration of happiness of new year so called "Sajibu Cheiraoba" In the book " Kanglei Ningou Chahi"- Message from Pana-Mari-Four sides - Khurai, Khwai, Wangkhei and Yaiskul, the men wearing different clothes of different Panas riding the horse tiding bell on the pole shouting in the same manner the end of year and beginning of new year as " Sajibu Lakyel Taiba". In the "Bijay Panchali" 2nd Khanda saji (animal deer) changes their horns in this month of Sajibu (April) During the reign of

Meidingu Khyamba in 1467-1508 the way of giving message by riding the horse and shouting in the streets have stopped and it became known as "Cheithaba" -The king selected a person who takes an oath on that day of Sajibu to accept all the burdens of the king and his subjects that are to be fallen in the coming year. The first named "Cheithaba" is called "Hiyangloi".

From this year onwards a book started to write named as "Cheitharol Kumbaba" and such Cheithaba had been honoured by putting his name in the horoscope of every child born during the year. In this manner though the name has been changed as "Cheiraoba" the celebration and festival have still been performing. In early days the Cheithaba had been given award of cloth, one pari of paddy field and exempted from other duties of the state. During the reign of Sir Churachand Maharaja instead of awards and others the "Cheithaba" was given Rs. 10,000 and since then no record for such monetary award is known.

Sajibu month is so important from the religious point of view. It is the first month of the year according to Meitei Calender. On the 7th day a very important ritual ceremony known as Kongba LeithongPhatpa, Sajibu Leikhun Phunba has been performed at the places known as Ningthem Pokpa and Angom Pokpa located on the eastern bank of Kongba river where it meets Ml river. What is it and how does it ?

From these places better known as LAIPHAM whatever available may be anything like metal piece or insects when the ground is dug out and is wraped in a new cloth and tied them. The Maiba will bring it putting round his neck and keeps it on an earthern jar for 5 days at YUMJAO LAIREMBI'S place with a prayer. On the basis of whatever available when it is opened the MAICHOU and other intellectuals forcast good or bad of the agricultural products of the coming year.

This is written in Kanglei Ningou Chaibi and Sajibu Cheiraoba, such ritual ceremony had been started from the time of Nongda Lairen Pakhangba. In this month of Sajibu people make agricultural land by levelling the uneven ground of paddy fields and kitchen gardening areas and prepare different grounds for cultivation of the coming year. People plough their fields, prepare the soils and make ready for cultivation.



* N Mangi Devi wrote this book entitled "Festival of Manipur" . This article was webcasted on January 21st 2010.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • CAB Protest #1 [21 Jan] : Gallery
  • Words of caution for the expendable citizens
  • 11 in line for Congress ticket
  • Gaan-Ngai @Majorkhul #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • CAB, 2016: Ethnocide of Indigenous People
  • When 7th Pay & UGC regulations for college
  • Truthfully Yours :: Poem
  • Detox your hair
  • Job Openings at PR Enterprises, Imphal
  • Police action to protestors in Tripura
  • India in grave danger
  • Issues, issues everywhere, anytime
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #1: Gallery
  • CAB Protest [17 Jan] : Gallery
  • Ranjit Ningthouja : Profile of a playwright
  • Poetry Of Manipuri Women Authors #3
  • Bird's Eye view at 'Go To School' Mission
  • 10 % reservation & ST demand ?
  • Poetic Justice - III :: Poem
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Legislative Assistant to MP- Fellowship
  • The changing face of Manipuri youths
  • Rolling up sleeves for ST tag
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #1
  • Chongdeinem, Abothem :: eMing
  • ST Demand - Poster Campaign : Gallery
  • Retrospective View On Driver's Day
  • Integrated farming & its importance
  • Nightingales in winter :: Poem
  • Tour to Delhi for border area students
  • Nagaland Cabinet Meeting on CAB
  • Gaan-Ngai @Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai - festival of Kabui #1
  • Protest against CAB [Jan 15] #2: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai, Festival of Zeliangrong
  • Understanding Mao Tse-Tung
  • Of Vernacular & my Enlightenment..
  • Teacher wanted at Tekcham High School
  • Demanding release of Kishorechandra
  • BJP's Agenda : Curtain raised
  • Topping in enrolment in pvt schools
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1 : Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai :: Flash Presentation
  • CAB Protest [16 Jan] : Gallery
  • Dr Thokchom Asha: Teacher Award
  • Cry of a Dying River - 62 :: Poem
  • Occasion & festivity as career choice
  • Rejoinder to NDPP on CAB by NPF
  • Saving tomorrow for our children
  • Open invitation to Mission schools
  • Women's Intl Polo [Jan 17] : Gallery
  • A Hymn for Goddess Emoinu
  • Manipur tops enrolment in private schools
  • Variance of laboratory results
  • A Christian perspective on solidarity #2
  • Naga International Trade Fair at Dimapur
  • Has Loktak mortgaged to Company
  • CAB: Lining up public convention on Jan 20
  • Purnima Ngangom (Printmaker) :: Profile
  • CAB Protest [11 Jan] #3 : Gallery
  • Poetry Of Manipuri Women Authors #2
  • CAB & scoring 21 out of 25 ?
  • Complications :: Poem
  • North East Business Summit at Delhi
  • Almond oil is the ultimate skin care
  • The Bill that haunt the government
  • Over 50 police personnel chargesheeted
  • Insurgency related incidents in NE states
  • Myanmar border fence going nowhere
  • Protest against CAB [Jan 15] #1: Gallery
  • Crop diseases & organic way of managing
  • War and Poetry :: Poem
  • Landeng-Pena yakaiduna Poster Campaign
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Condemns communal nature of CAB 2016
  • PCC, Arunachal Pradesh on CAB, 2016
  • CAB and other issues before LS polls
  • Sit-In against CAB [Jan 14] : Gallery
  • CAB : Our Identity & Culture is at stake
  • Re-Imagining the Naga Peace Process
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • Northeast Startup Summit 2019
  • Ponder them to live like human beings
  • No Shield for Manipur against CAB
  • Missing link: NE, CAB & obscure assurance
  • JCILPS Protest against CAB : Gallery
  • AMUCO Rally against CAB : Gallery
  • Poetic Justice - II :: Poem
  • Makar Sankranti Musing
  • Biren should release Kishorchandra
  • New archaeological site in Senapati
  • A Christian perspective on solidarity #1
  • New craft gallery to promote NE products
  • Rights body warns Nagas on Article 371 (A)
  • NE Black Day against CAB : Gallery
  • CAB Protest [11 Jan] #2 : Gallery
  • Narendra Modi @ Imphal #2: Gallery
  • Myanmar-India Business Summit, Sagaing
  • Cry of a Dying River - 61 :: Poem
  • Preventing the Dengue threat
  • NPF on Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016
  • Nagaland Chief Minister On CAB 2016
  • Hijacking by pseudoscience
  • Mr. CM, you can't fool people on CAB
  • CAB 2016: Adoption of foreign citizens
  • CAB Protest [11 Jan] #1 : Gallery
  • CAB & question of India's North East
  • Poetry Of Manipuri Women Authors #1
  • Local actions for #GlobalGoals
  • Know your HIV status
  • Pope Francis - the last Pope!
  • CAB is unsecular discriminatory bill
  • When Govt. disregard Constitutions...
  • Citizenship Bill: An exceptional exception
  • The Walking Lady : A Short Story
  • 4th Convocation Ceremony of CAU
  • The Voice of Silence :: Poem
  • Against CAB 2016 : 6 Student Bodies
  • Need for a separate time zone
  • BOOM MMA : 'Manipur Top Team' members
  • Against Citizenship Bill Act 2016
  • Lt Gen Rajeev Sirohi at Spear Corps
  • Is the middle man responsible
  • Economically weak at Rs 8 lakh per annum ?
  • Umanglai Haraoba: Traditional Institution
  • Strike against CAB : Gallery
  • People - animal conflict
  • Fine on relieving in public
  • Flawed/divisive Citizenship Bill dangerous
  • Broken :: Poem
  • Meetei gi mayokta leiba Political party..
  • NE uniting under shutdown call : CAB
  • Trains in NE to get 'glass-top' coaches
  • Yubi Lakpi #2 : Gallery
  • Freedom's fault lines
  • Traditional Manipuri Curries
  • Governance in Multi-Ethnic States
  • Understanding animal welfare
  • Unite against corruption for development
  • Manipurgi Maraibk Kari Oihougani
  • On restoring of director of CBI
  • Citizenship Bill : scourge for NE
  • Feel good factor from UNC
  • New Year picnic at Sekmai #2: Gallery
  • A tale of two falcons
  • Artificial Insemination in livestock
  • The Naked Truth :: Poem
  • My itinerary visit to Veeranapalya
  • Test for Free Coaching for IIT/AIIMS
  • Critique of Transgender Persons Bill
  • Press Rejoinder from NPF [7 Jan]
  • Nagaland Cabinet on Citizenship Bill
  • Can we expect something from govt
  • Mova Cave, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Sumo Wrestling #2 :: Gallery
  • Maipaksana RK: Entrepreneurship Award
  • Poetic Justice - I
  • IIT-G Technology Incubation Centre
  • Sana Chahi Ahum & 1857 revolt #2
  • Economics of climate change & growth
  • Singhat Students tour to Delhi & Agra
  • Congress against Modi on Rafale Deal
  • Press Club celebrates foundation day
  • NSF to impose 11-hr bandh on Jan 8
  • 518 drug traffickers arrested in 2018
  • Gangmumei Kamei Memorial lecture
  • Taking the Street Vendor seriously #1
  • WWII museums in Japan: Gallery
  • Schedule : HSLC Examination 2019
  • Schedule : Class XI Examination 2019
  • Schedule : HSE Examination 2019
  • Caste System in Contemporary India: Book
  • Save energy and save your skin
  • Benefits of henna for beauty
  • Coronary In-stent obstruction treated
  • A take on PM visit to Imphal
  • No over the top promises, assurances
  • Narendra Modi @ Imphal #1: Gallery
  • Management of commercial broiler farming
  • 61st CC Meet Football Tournament 2019
  • Noise Ruins & Blights Lives
  • Social media & freedom of speech
  • Cry of a Dying River - 60 :: Poem
  • Declare war against air pollution
  • Winter relief at Thanga
  • Of monologues and conveniences
  • Raising posers before PM's arrival: Cong
  • Irengbam Bedamani :: eRang Photos
  • Poireiton Chakhao at Loktak Lake
  • Hojang :: Poem
  • New Year: Challenges & opportunities
  • One Rank One Pension Paper (OROP)
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • New Year picnic at Sekmai #1: Gallery
  • May the Year 2019 bring integrity of Manipur
  • Sangai Fest: Evening Prog #2: Gallery
  • What I learned from Kishorchandra detention
  • Nupi Lal Ningsing Lamjel #4: Gallery
  • Village Authority in Hill Areas of Manipur #2
  • From nomenclature conflict of oral tradition
  • Bye Bye 2018 !!! : Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2018 #6: Gallery
  • Unforgettable Revolutionary NK Sanajaoba
  • Certificate distribution at Namsai, ArP
  • Top 5 Indie/Alternative Picks of 2018
  • Sangaithel Park @Sangai: Gallery
  • A view of Ukhrul Town #1: Gallery
  • January Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • National Mathematics Day & Ramanujan
  • Thougal Jagoi @Sangai: Gallery
  • Snowfall @Tamei, Tamenglong : Gallery
  • China spreads across Indochina Peninsula
  • Ningol Chakkouba Shopping #2: Gallery
  • Xmas: Churches @Lamphel : Gallery
  • 27th Imphal Book Fair #2 : Gallery
  • The Crying Call of Motherland :: Poem
  • Kwatha Festival #3 : Gallery
  • 12th Manipur Polo Intl #2 : Gallery
  • Harvard Leadership Program at Don Bosco
  • Christmas @Churachandpur : Gallery
  • UN Rapporteur briefed on Kishorechand
  • Nupi Lal Ningsing Lamjel #3: Gallery
  • Irengbam Bedamani - Actress :: eRang
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • Ningol - mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS