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
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Mysore #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Dubai #1 : Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 54 :: Poem
  • Religious education- Part of our life
  • Free Heart Camp at Kakching Bazar
  • Jobs at Gyan Jyoti Foundation
  • Nothing seems change; everything remains
  • Predatory instinct of man: Targeting 'Manipur'
  • Lihaaz- Classical Music at IIT Guwahati
  • Mera Wayungba #1 : Gallery
  • L Modhuchandra : Young Scientist Award
  • Chavang Kut celebrated in Delhi
  • Temple runs for a pilgrim's journey
  • First day of All India Young Writers' Festival
  • Ningol Chakkouba in era of materials
  • Constitutional breakdown in governance
  • Attacked on Environment Defenders
  • Kut festival @ Chandel : Gallery
  • Mega Marathon Manipur #2 : Gallery
  • Karen people's pursuit for survival..
  • Glamorous Maniac & their new single
  • City bus for high end of society- Why not?
  • Youth Leadership Camp at Yairipok
  • Course in Political Science at NEHU
  • Of Indian Constitution
  • Ningol Chakouba @ MBC #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba Nga Mela #1 : Gallery
  • NH7 Weekender @Meghalaya #2 : Gallery
  • Gaudiya Vaishnavism in Meitei Nation #1
  • Old Man in the Winter :: Poem
  • Drawing inspiration from Dave Mustaine
  • Condemns attack on Agnes Kharshiing
  • NEUFC Fan Park celebrates
  • Achievement lists of PDA is 'Boring'
  • MPP : Down but not out
  • Ningol - mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • Kwatha Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba: Biggest fest of Manipuri
  • Mizoram Under the British Rule :: Book
  • Dr. Udit Raj: a Crusader
  • Undisclosed #MeToo campaign in Manipur?
  • Drought :: Poem
  • When Money matters, sincerity is out..
  • Detaining two more at Jiribam
  • Ningol Chakkouba : Flash Presentation
  • Ningol Chakkouba Shopping #1: Gallery
  • Chingjaroi, Atengba, Ahongbi :: eMing
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Those Sparks and Sounds
  • Manipur from Independence to Merger #2
  • Understanding RSS :: Book Review
  • Cry of a Dying River - 53 :: Poem
  • A take on Freedom of Media
  • Pay of private school teachers
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #2: Gallery
  • Art Festival @ Imphal : Gallery
  • 26 month left to meet AIDS 90-90-90 target
  • Tengnoumanbi- Essential food item ..
  • Dr Abdul Kalam vision of transforming India
  • A Wintry Landscape :: Poem
  • 'Say no to Lead Paints'
  • Completing bigger task
  • Biomedical wastes: Health, ecology at stake
  • NIA files chargesheet against 5 NSCN (K)
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Kolkata : Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #3: Gallery
  • Irony of idea of communal harmony
  • Blood Donation at RGU, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Career opportunities in Ecology #2
  • Down the Country Road :: Poem
  • Change of season: Prepare for winter
  • Govt forgotten promises to improve traffic
  • ATC demand: Setback to pluralistic Manipur
  • Mega Marathon Manipur #1 : Gallery
  • Descent & inheritance among Zeliangrong
  • Constituent Assembly Of India & NEFA #3
  • Seminar : Reforming Teaching-Learning
  • Attitude :: Poem
  • Tourism: A key sector in the world
  • NH7 Weekender Meghalaya : Day 2 Report
  • Early solution in Manipur difficult : Army
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • NH7 Weekender @Meghalaya #1 : Gallery
  • Pukning Pothasang: Suicide prevention
  • Where have all the flowers gone? Khurkhul
  • Engaging Failed State :: Book Review
  • eNorth East Award 2018
  • Song of a Tree :: Poem
  • NH7 Weekender 2018 Kicks Off
  • Unsolved case of Pravish Chanam
  • Imphal Jamboree : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Manipur from Independence to Merger #1
  • A beacon of hope
  • Mishing tribe of Assam
  • Ransomware that made the world cry
  • State Level Painting Competition
  • A suggestion for a strong democracy
  • Issues before Parliamentary polls
  • Kut Festival @ Kangpokpi : Gallery
  • HIV : Gap between research & impact
  • My Tryst With Manipur : A Memoir :: Review
  • Cultural heritage (Kut fete)
  • Bleeding inside Brain treated at SKY
  • Indo-Myanmar Regional Border Meet
  • In Her Arms Of Death :: Poem
  • Pravish Chanam : No Action by CBI
  • Assam Don Bosco : University of the Year
  • NH7 Weekender 2018 in Meghalaya
  • Media that criticize are not your enemy, CM
  • MU limping back to normalcy
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #1: Gallery
  • Happy Kut Wishes :: Flash Presentation
  • November Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Weavers training for Mamit , Mizoram
  • Diwali Lagao : Mapugidi Munda
  • Career opportunities in Ecology
  • Jobs at Trueblue, Taxi Service, Imphal
  • CM should not let this opportunity out..
  • Where will Oct 31, 2018 stand ?
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #2: Gallery
  • Kut Festival :: Series of Articles
  • Comedian Huirem Manglem passed away
  • Constituent Assembly Of India & NEFA #2
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Overview of Buddha's teachings on Karmma
  • Technological Globalisation and Manipur
  • Initiate disciplinary action against Police
  • 13th Indo-Myanmar Border Committee Meet
  • .....but traffic is still in mess
  • Obstinately silly or immense clout
  • 'Ethnic Conflicts in Manipur: Issues'
  • Mapithel Dam Irrigation Canals #2
  • Kangla is like Ayodhya for Meiteis..Sacred
  • Health Care & Status in North East :: Book
  • Speaker List: Imphal Jamboree- Youth Fest
  • Roars of #MeToo to douse the flame of lust
  • A Welcome Change :: Poem
  • Liangmai community performed at NE fest
  • Immature press statement from NDPP: NPF
  • Our expectation from the government
  • October 31 : Rally and bandh
  • Chalwa Village in Kangpokpi #3 : Gallery
  • NEROCA Vs East Bengal : Gallery
  • Lullaby by This Chord :: Critical Analysis
  • Imphal Jamboree - Youth festival
  • Getting ready for Act East Policy
  • Hey! You're a role model :: Poem
  • Training on Cultivation of Mushroom
  • Yitachu is propagating misguiding facts
  • Naga Talk: Wary yet committed & hopeful
  • Fashion Show: Lamklai Kummoi: Gallery
  • Pukning Pothasang : Bereavement
  • Khong: significance in Zeliangrong culture-2
  • RIST Talk -37 : The Physics of Lunar Dust
  • Cry of a Dying River #51 :: Poem
  • WhatsApp cheating : Unexplained loss
  • Cat :: Poem
  • TSA cautions EMRS School
  • Non-issue turns issue
  • Cong gunning for Governor
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #1: Gallery
  • Sanjenbam Bhanumati Devi : Kavyabhusan
  • Church and climate change
  • Environmental human rights: Its evolution
  • Developing a database on bio-resource #2
  • Incomplete Love :: Poem
  • Beauty benefits of potato
  • The toddler calls
  • UNC : Acceptable to the Zeliangrongs?
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #2: Gallery
  • Constituent Assembly Of India & NEFA #1
  • Can we end tobacco pandemic ?
  • Experiencing Senapati town
  • City Bazaar :: Poem
  • Share market frauds : Investors at risk
  • When arrogance meets ignorance
  • Let Imphal go with town planning
  • Eepan Thaba #1: Gallery
  • Mapithel Dam Irrigation Canals #1
  • Chumthang Crafts at European Congress
  • A Road Trip to Myanmar #3
  • Regional Rural Banks in NE :: Book Review
  • JRF at Department of Biotechnology, MU
  • The call of the wood :: Poem
  • Free Training for Minorities at JCRE
  • Mechanism for industrialisation
  • Noting efforts to reach out to people
  • Lamklai Kummoi Maring Fest #1: Gallery
  • Narmada Sougaijam - Natl Konkan Award
  • Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947 #2
  • Calling for Interns in Imphal
  • Bizandoo, why they put me at 3 ?
  • 6th North East Festival 2018 at Delhi
  • Senior Project Engineer @R-Square Design
  • Research Support Officer at R-Square
  • Career in Rural Management
  • The unmistakable reflections
  • Politics of Lim divide : Pitching rally & bandh
  • Bor khoiramba @Hiyangthang #2 : Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba : Unity - hill & valley
  • Khong: significance in Zeliangrong culture-1
  • Woes of farmers & measures to mitigate
  • A Scarecrow :: Poem
  • New Executive Body of DAMMS
  • National Integration Tour flagged in
  • Benevolence behind the iron fortress
  • Parties to watch in LS polls : Cong Vs BJP
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download
  • Lamyanba Irabot- Floral Tribute #2: Gallery
  • Police Day Marathon #2: Gallery
  • Mera Chaorel Houba #2 : Gallery
  • Anglo-Kuki War 1917-19 : Gallery
  • Pari Imom (Film Scenes) #1 :: eRang
  • MU: Teachers/students released : Gallery
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #3 : Gallery
  • Jarnail Singh @ MU : Gallery
  • Heikru Hidongba #3 : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural evening : Gallery
  • Sizo Festival @Saikot : Gallery
  • Tarpon Sonba : Gallery
  • mtM :: Seireng
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #4: Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS