IMPHAL, Jan 15 � The Gaan Ngai, the biggest annual post-harvest festival of the Zeliangrong tribes of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland, began in Manipur on Monday.
Making of holy fire for purification of the community, the congregational prayer of hoi and colourful dances marked the formal inaugural of the seven day festival which heralds the closing of the old year and arrival of the New Year.
The State level Gaan Ngai festival was celebrated with the State Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam as the chief guest at the inaugural function at Keikhu Kabui village under Imphal East district.
The Gaan Ngai festival of the Zeliangrongs which comprise of Zeme, Liangmai and Rongmei tribes, according to folklore, originated in the ancient village of Makuilongdi.
Bird census: As a prelude to a waterbird census of the Loktak area, a motivation camp was held at the Toubul village, about 32 km south of Imphal in Bishnupur district Monday. About 100 representatives of villages in and around Loktak attended the camp.
Senior Forest officers, environmentalist Dr Kh Shamungou and bird specialist RK Birjit gave lectures in connection with the bird census which is scheduled to be conducted across 50 selected spots on January 18.