IMPHAL, March 25 - Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba, the New Year of the Manipuri community, was today celebrated throughout Manipur in a low key manner amid the ongoing lockdown and subsequent curfew ordered by the State Government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The festival is celebrated on the first day of the Manipuri month, Sajibu, which usually falls in March-end or early April, symbolising the advent of the New Year.
This time around, the people of the State celebrated the festival with minimum rituals like offering fruits and dishes to deities for protection of families. There are reports of celebration of the Manipuri New Year Festival in other parts of the country too.
Ahead of the celebrations in the State, the Government had already restricted climbing of hills and hillocks, which is part of the tradition of the festival, in the valley areas to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in separate messages, sent their greetings on the auspicious occasion of Sajibu Cheiraoba and five other spring festivals of the country. Governor Dr Najma Heptulla has also conveyed warm wishes to the people of the State on the occasion of Sajibu Nongma Panba.
Greeting the people on the occasion, Chief Minister N Biren Singh called for a resolve to take responsible actions in the larger interest of society.
Manipur Legislative Assembly Speaker Yumnam Khemchand Singh, Inspector General of Assam Rifles (South) Major General KP Singh and other dignitaries have extended warm greetings to the people on the occasion of Cheiraoba.
A Newmai News report adds: COVID-19 fears dampened the Cheiraoba (Meiteis� New Year) spirit in Manipur on Wednesday, celebrated a day after the first positive case of the disease was detected in the State.