TODAY -

Cheirao Ching Kaba and the Double Ninth Festival

James Oinam *

Cheirao-chingkaba at Chingmeirong as part of Cheiraoba :: April 14 2017
Cheirao-chingkaba at Chingmeirong on Cheiraoba - April 14 2017 :: Pix- Lamdamba Oinam



Chinese philosophy talks about the yin and the yang. These are opposing forces in nature, and when the two are equally powerful then there is harmony and stability. But at times one of them can become more powerful causing imbalance.

The ninth day of the ninth month of Chinese calendar is said to have too much yang and hence it is considered ominous. On this day, the Double Ninth festival is celebrated. This falls in October month of the western calendar.

One may mention here that the Manipuri expression 'mapanni panba' (translation the ninth [day]) also means a bad omen. Also, in Manipur, while buying fruits like banana meant for prayers, people talk about 'chang thokpa'. The numbers 1 and 7 are good, according to Chingtamlen. But if that is not available then the bananas are counted in pairs.

There seems to be disagreement on whether the even or the odd number is preferable. But the notion of 'pairing' brings to mind the pairing of the ying and the yang.

In the Double Ninth festival, which is celebrated in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Japan under various names, people climb mountains. This is where one starts wondering if the Manipuri Cheirao Ching Kaba in which people climb a nearby mountain was influenced by the Double Ninth festival.

Cheirao Ching Kaba is a part of New Year celebration of Manipur called Cheiraoba festival, observed in March-April. So why do Manipuris climb mountain on this day?

In the Double Ninth festival, people also drink chrysanthemum liquor. People renovate the graves and offer food to dead ancestors which is consumed afterwards. In Manipur also, making food offerings to dead ancestors is practised, although it is not consumed later. Having more than one similarity is unlikely to be just a coincidence.

Whether or not they are related, the folktale of the Double Ninth festival is fascinating. Below is the story sourced from the BBC's School Radio podcast:

Once upon a time, there lived a farmer called Heng Jing. He had a beautiful wife and three children. Heng Jing had a prosperous farm nestled among the mountains, and a river flowed near the farm. In spite of having all this, he was not happy.

The reason was a long time ago, a plague monster had come at night. The next morning, Heng Jing found both his parents dead. He was worried that the monster will come back again. So he was restless and worried. Then he decided to do something about it.

On the top of the tall mountain, there lived a wise old man called Fei Changfang. Heng Jing climbed the mountain to seek advice from the wise man.

The old man said, 'In order to kill the plague monster, you will need three things. You will need chrysanthemum wine, dogwood tree and this sword.'

Heng Jing said, 'What can the chrysanthemum and dogwood do? I will take this sword only.'

But he could not lift the huge sword. He became humble and asked the wise man teach him and became his disciple.

The wise man taught him about the yin and the yang. He also taught him about the properties various herbs. Gradually, Heng Jing became stronger and stronger and was able to lift the sword.

One day when the two of them were walking in the hills, the old man suddenly stopped. He looked at the sky and became grim.

'What is wrong?' asked Heng Jing.

'Tomorrow will be the ninth day of the ninth month. There will be too much yang. The monster will come tomorrow,' he said.

On hearing this, Heng Jing ran to his home. It was night when he reached. He asked his wife to climb up the tall mountain nearby and take the children with her.

Then he came near the river with the sword, chrysanthemum wine and dogwood branch. Early morning, the clear river water turned black and smelled of death and disease. The sky was covered with dark clouds.

The plague monster came down the river in the form of an enormous snake. Heng Jing attacked the snake with his sword, but the snake was too quick for him. Then he remembered the chrysanthemum wine and the dogwood.

Sprinkling the wine on the dogwood branch, he held it up. The sweet smell of the chrysanthemum wine and dogwood enchanted the snake, and it became still. Heng Jing took this opportunity and chopped off the head of the snake with his sword.

Heng Jing was so tired fighting the snake monster that he fell asleep. When he woke up, his wife and children were there. The old man was also there. They were all laughing. He had never seen the old man laugh before.

References

o Festivals - Chinese Double Ninth Festival. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05d6v9l
o https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Ninth_Festival
o http://paochelsalaitaret.net/article/dk26.pdf
o http://e-pao.net - Festival Channel




* James Oinam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at jamesoinam(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on February 15, 2018.



* 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
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #2 : eRang
  • Exam Centre allocation for HSLC 2019
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #2 : Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 65 :: Poem
  • DIPR facts on Census confuse Pangals
  • Manipur Tourism: Global Mice Congress
  • Coping up with examination stresses
  • On Govt inability to present CAB
  • Breather for the North East
  • Henjunaha #2 :: Funga Wari
  • Sangai Chef: Season 1 : Gallery
  • CAB: Imphal I/W [12 Feb] #2: Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni -Naga Seed Sowing Fest
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Different opinions on CAB 2016
  • Change of B Voc Examination Schedule
  • Nagaland MP will vote against CAB
  • Overshadowing issues by CAB
  • RS adjourned till February 13
  • CAB: Imphal I/W [12 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • CAB: Blockade [7 Feb] #2: Gallery
  • Keisham Priyokumar's short stories? #1
  • Just a beautiful lie :: Poem
  • World Wetlands Day 2019
  • Protests against Union HRD Ministry
  • 'PDA trying to confuse Naga people'
  • The 'ban' of Internet
  • Setting date with February 12, 2019
  • NSCN (I-M) elects new leaders
  • Scientific Knowledge in Manuscript
  • Poppy destruction @CCpur : Gallery
  • Kishorechand Wangkhem's case
  • 70th Indian Republic Day #3 : Gallery
  • Hinduism and Indianess
  • CAB: Maharaj & Xenophobia :: WJ
  • Deciphering a laboratory test report
  • Stop discrimination against women
  • The falls of protracted leader
  • More than hinting CAB will be tabled
  • CAB: Khwairamband [10 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @Majorkhul #2 : Gallery
  • Human trafficking at Moreh
  • Why meiteis should not be ST #2
  • The Dark Light :: Poem
  • Exclusion of Pvt Teachers from HSLC
  • Pan Meetei met Ex Dy CM
  • NSS special camp 2019 concluded
  • NE to Bangkok flight from March
  • CAB: Khwairamband [9 Feb] : Gallery
  • Thamoise Foidattuna :: e-pao Radio
  • Chingyaisu, Chaklai, Cheksa :: eMing
  • CAB Meira Rally #4 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • Prof T Kameshwar: Reminiscence
  • Bamboo Cooking Competition: Final Day
  • Tips for healthier skin this winter
  • Sincerity matters
  • Awaiting final pact with NSCN (IM)
  • CAB: Blockade [7 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #1 : Gallery
  • The panic radiated at War-Torn PAD
  • NE- Socio-Economic Development: Book
  • CAB- Consequences in Manipur
  • [ST] Demand for Constitutional Safeguard
  • 'ArP to observe Black Day during PM visit'
  • CAB date with RS on Feb 12 ?
  • Check Post (ICP) @ Moreh : Gallery
  • Tribes India [Exhibition] #2 : Gallery
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #4
  • It's a privilege to be a Rongmei
  • A Saviour Of My Own :: Poem
  • North East Startup Summit 2019
  • Budget : Full, half or quarter ?
  • BJP shows no concern for NE states
  • Mission schools under threat again
  • CAB : Blockade @Tiddim [6 Feb] : Gallery
  • Dolaithabi Barrage: Concealing Facts
  • 70th Indian Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • Marketing Associates @ PiCiDi Systems
  • CAB, Political Parties and Manipur
  • The Novels Of BM Maisnamba #2
  • Employment in non-Govt sectors in Manipur
  • The board exam festival
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • NE voice on CAB: no worry for the BJP
  • Alienating natives & embracing foreigners
  • Henjunaha #1 :: Funga Wari
  • CAB Gen Strike #2 [31 Jan] : Gallery
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • Movement against Citizenship Bill in NE
  • Bamboo Cooking Competition: Day 1 Report
  • A girl with a Bicycle :: Poem
  • Mithun (Sandang) Mela at Machi
  • Disrespect to mother earth
  • Significance of MANPAC
  • Konthoujam Maikel (Painter) :: Profile
  • CAB Meira Rally #3 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • Business as usual will fail on cancer control
  • Citizenship Bill: Thinking with ethics
  • STDCM reasserts Demand for ST
  • NE Pol parties met Union Home Minister
  • Free Heart Screening at Jiribam & Silchar
  • The ultimate showdown
  • Nepal to SE Asia: Trafficking via Moreh
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #2
  • Aribam Syam return Padmashree to Govt
  • Literature review
  • CAB : An Adhesive for Integrity of Manipur
  • Cry of a Dying River - 64 :: Poem
  • Impact of AI and Robotics on Society
  • New MSAD Executive term 2019
  • Rejoinder from Shurhozelie Liezietsu -Feb 3
  • Festival to promote NE trade, tourism
  • Onetwo Okram : Singer- Profile :: eRang
  • CAB : Film Forum Protest : Gallery
  • Cultural: Republic Day #1: Gallery
  • Why Manipuri people oppose CAB? #2
  • Antibiotic Consumption by farm animals
  • The Beauty of the Sunset :: Poem
  • Coordinator of Social Media for Congress
  • Rejoinder to NDPP [Feb 2]
  • Non presentation of CAB at RS is an insult
  • Noting anti-CAB stand of NPP, NPF
  • CAB Gen Strike #1 [31 Jan] : Gallery
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #3: Gallery
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #3
  • Truth of Manipur is inherent in nature
  • Chola Pass & Chola Range in Sikkim
  • JRF required at IBSD, Imphal
  • NPF disclosure on Citizenship Bill
  • Viral audio which confuse people
  • CAB indication from President
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3 : Gallery
  • February Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • CAB Meira Rally #2 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • The Novels Of BM Maisnamba #1
  • Screen time, effect on speech & language
  • Trainees Certificate of Lunglei, Mizoram
  • ST: Unfounded fear psychosis being spread
  • Join the people, brother/sisters of state BJP
  • CAB : The rallying point for NE
  • CAB Meira Rally #1 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • CAB Protest #1 [29 Jan] : Gallery
  • NE Railway's Work & fate of Villages
  • Fellowship Meet of Maring Naga
  • Legal Awareness for Women leaders
  • Flowers for beauty
  • Opposing ST demand of STDCM
  • Gaan-Ngai @Namthanlong : Gallery
  • Why Manipuri people oppose CAB? #1
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #2
  • Oinam Shilla : Society Development Award
  • Let this year be your year
  • Release Journalist Keshore Wangkhem
  • Bill haunt NE today, may haunt BJP tomm
  • Staying away from all parties meet
  • Taking the Street Vendor seriously #2
  • CAB Protest #2 [21 Jan] : Gallery
  • I'm sorry :: Poem
  • Self-development
  • Time to Reshape Reservation Policy
  • Sikandra, where Akbar the Great rests
  • Wise rulers listens kingmakers
  • Understanding National Voters' Day
  • 70th Indian Republic Day #1 : Gallery
  • Agri Fair @ CAU #1 : Gallery
  • MIK (Manipuri in Kolkata) : Gallery
  • Of Manipuri marriages & Swasti Pujas
  • 2nd AMAND Blood Donation Camp at Pune
  • NSUD : on call centre scam at Noida
  • The Banyan :: EI
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #2: Gallery
  • Why shouldn't Meitei be included in ST
  • Some lessons from Ramayan
  • Republic Day celebrated across North East
  • Mizo Gov addresses RDay in empty ground
  • On the arrest of Gen Sec of RSF
  • International exposure via business
  • Kitchen Ingredients- can be used on skin
  • Republic Day at Loktak Power Station
  • 'A slap in the face for PDA government'
  • No final solution yet in sight !!
  • Combing Operation @Hatta : Gallery
  • Laishram Bombayla : Padma Shri Award
  • Female sex tourism: Sociological study
  • Imphal Declaration: Pan Meetei Convention
  • RPL trainees of Damparengui, Mizoram
  • Is the country listening ?
  • Yet another boycott call of R-Day
  • Maisnam Renuka (Painter) : Profile
  • Thank You Note: Khumukcham Sanjita
  • Gaan-Ngai - festival of Kabui #2
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2 : Gallery
  • Rongmei and Kabui are one
  • Rani Khidir : Kalaritu (Laiyekpa) : Profile
  • 11 in line for Congress ticket
  • Gaan-Ngai @Majorkhul #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #1: Gallery
  • CAB Protest [17 Jan] : Gallery
  • Ranjit Ningthouja : Profile of a playwright
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1 : Gallery
  • Dr Thokchom Asha: Teacher Award
  • Purnima Ngangom (Printmaker) :: Profile
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • New Year picnic at Sekmai #2: Gallery
  • WWII museums in Japan: Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2018 #6: Gallery
  • Irengbam Bedamani - Actress :: eRang
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS