IMPHAL, March 29 - Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba, the Meitei New Year, was celebrated widely in Manipur on Wednesday.
Praying to the Almighty by offering flowers, fruits and seasonal dishes, traditional family feasting, climbing nearby hillocks, particularly Cheriraoching and Chinga hillocks here in the afternoon, etc., marked the occasion. Special vegan dishes were also prepared as offerings to the deities. After the preparation, the food is offered by the elders of the house to three deities for the protection of the family.
Married women give gifts to their parents and brothers on the occasion, while the youths seek the blessings of the elders.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party national president Amit Shah have greeted the people on the occasion of the Spring festival. Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla, Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Assembly Speaker Yumnam Khemchand, former Chief Minister and Congress legislature party leader Okram Ibobi Singh and others have extended warm greetings to the people on the occasion of the Meitei New Year.
In her message, Governor Dr Najma Heptulla said, �We have witnessed incidents which could have broken the bond between different communities but the people of Manipur have shown their maturity by maintaining peace and shunning violence,� adding that from this Sajibu Cheiraoba onwards let us strive together for a better Manipur setting apart our differences and working for a common goal.
In his message, the Chief Minister expressed hope that the festival will bring joy, prosperity and peaceful co-existence among all the people of the State, while Speaker Khemchand wished that the New Year brings in peace, harmony and prosperity in the State.