TODAY -

Ningol Chakkouba : Biggest festival of Manipuris

Budha Kamei *

Ningol Chakkouba for all communities at Manipur Baptist Convention (MBC) Church, Imphal on November 05 2013.
Ningol Chakkouba for all communities at Manipur Baptist Convention (MBC) Church, Imphal on November 05 2013. :: Pix - Gnet Cyber Cafe



Manipur, once an Asiatic kingdom is situated at the extreme eastern corner of India. With an area of 22,327 sq kms, Manipur of today is bounded in the north by Nagaland, in the east and south, by Myanmar, in the south-west by Mizoram and in the west by Assam. A very charming hilly state, which had once separated Assam and Myanmar before the creation of present Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram out of Assam. Three major ethnic groups, namely "the Meiteis in the valley and the Nagas and Kukis-chin group of people at the surrounding hills occupy the state."

These ethnic groups belong to Mongoloid racial stock and speak Tibeto-Burman languages. In addition to the native population, people of different communities like the Pangans (Muslims), Nepalis, Mayangs (Marwaris, Tamils, Malayalis, Biharis, Bengalis, Punjabis etc.) live in Manipur. In fact, Manipur can be aptly described as a miniature of India. The present article is an attempt to look into the Ningol Chakkouba festival and its significance.

Manipur is a land of festival, merriment and mirth all the year round. A year in Manipur represents a cycle of festivals and hardly a month passes without a festival. To the Manipuris, festival is the symbol of their cultural, social, and religious aspirations. Besides, it does remove dull monotonous life by providing physical diversion, mental recreation and emotional outlet, helps one to lead a peaceful and joyful life. A scholar says, "The joy of life which is the mother of the will to live is sustained by the successive festivals in this hilly state."

Among the festivals, Ningol Chakkouba is the biggest and colorful festival of Manipuris. Ningol Chakkouba means invitation of married daughters and sisters to parental house for a grand feast; here, Ningol means married woman not a girl and Chakkouba, calling for a meal. So, it is a special day for married daughters and sisters irrespective of ages.

The festival is observed on the second day of new moon in the Manipuri month Hiyangei which falls in October/November every year. In this festival, all the Manipuris irrespective of poor or rich are actively involved. As a tradition, invitation is formally done some days in advance by giving Pana to the married daughters and sisters. It is a day for the women old and young to go back again for at least some hours to their respective homes where they have got their roots, but separated when they became a member of another family.

In this festival, married women clad in best traditional attire along with their children go to their parental houses to meet their parents and brothers and to dine together. Those married women who are far away from the motherland Manipur also return home for the special occasion. It is considered that one who could participate in the festival is the luckiest person.

At their parents' house, the women are pampered with sumptuous food, gifts and total comfort. Mothers and brothers prepare lavish and extensive meals for their daughters and sisters. Parental family members like Papa, Mama and Dada warmly welcome their Ningols (daughters and sisters) and grandchildren. It is a form of family rejoinder to revive familial affection.

A marriage separates the "bride from her parental sacred hearth and incorporates her into the sacred hearth of her husband." It is natural that human being always hunts for love and wants to be loved. Finding one in life may be one of the most romantic things to come about in life. It is the love of the man in her life which does enable a girl to break ties with her parental home, her parents, brothers and sisters and ties the nuptial knot to the man of her life.

At the same time, her relationship with her birth place is mystical, a psychic placenta that refuses to snap by the tug of her married life in her new home. It is said that Naopham, the placenta of the child is interred inside the house of the parents. It is done in the faith that the child will sense itself endlessly drawn to its parent's house. As custom of the land, after marriage, a woman leaves her natal home physically, but the home where she was born and brought up never leaves her. This festival definitely gives an opportunity to bring back the old family members together. It is basically a source of family reunion and get-togethers.

It is a long tradition and it is even said that this festival is observed from the time of the deities. It is stated that this festival started from the time of Nongda Lairen Pakhangba, the first historical king who ruled Manipur in 33 C. E. Ancient Manipuri Literary sources gave us information regarding the origin of this festival that "Laisna, the queen of Pakhangba, one day went to the harvesting place of her elder brother Poreiton just to see the progress of the work. He was very happy to see his sister after long time and as marked of sister and brother love relationship Poreiton gave her two types of rice, i.e. black rice and white rice (sweet smelling rice/Chahao) along with a bunch of banana.

She was please to see the affectionate attitude of her brother and so she invited him for a lunch to her place. Thus, from that afterwards, and as mark of remembrance the married sisters invited their brothers every year on a particular day." Thus, this tradition had been existence for many years. However, the practice had changed from the time of Maharaja Chandrakriti Singh (1850-1886) C. E. that instead of going by brother to the house of sister, married daughters and sisters were invited by the parents and brothers to their houses for grand feast. In this way, from that time onwards Ningol Chakkouba has been continuing every year and it has become a festival for the sisters and magnified as a big festival since all sorts of people male and female, young and old join together and enjoy the day cheerfully.

According to Y. L. Roland Shimmi, "Ningon-chakouba is a Meitei festival celebrated once in a year. Every man holds a dinner in his house and usually invites his sisters. It is actually the day when a brother makes any kind of presentation to his sisters. Ningon-chakouba is parallel to Mangkhap of the Tangkhul." The Mangkhap festival is observed for seven days. The fifth day is called Khaso, the arrival day of visitors; after her marriage, generally within two years' duration, a sister must be provided with grand meal by her eldest brother.

Ningol Chakouba festival of course bears a good meaning of love between the brothers and sisters and also signifies the love core of the families. After the grand feast, the parents and brothers present nominal gifts to their daughters and sisters who in turn bless them all for happiness and prosperity in the days to come. It is said that the wrong doing against sister is not good. Happiness of the brother lies in the happiness of his sister.

Another facet of the festival is, on this day, valley based civil society organizations hold Ningol Chakkouba festival at different places of Manipur where married women of different communities take part. After grand feast, the organizers present small gifts as token of love to all the participants. In return, the participant married women give blessing to their brothers for wellbeing and prosperity.

In fact, this festival gives an opportunity to married women of different ethnic groups of Manipur (irrespective of caste and creed) to come at a place and dine together. This festival tightens the bond of love between brothers and sisters. Truly speaking, this is the significance of the Ningol Chakkouba festival.


* Budha Kamei wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on October 24, 2014 and re-posted with an updated version on November 10 2015.


* 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