FACES, FEATURED, MANIPUR
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Story of the Seed Sowing Festival ‘Luita Phanit’ Celebrated in Somdal Village, Manipur — by Thanmiso Khamrang

“The seed sowing festival, locally known as ‘Luita Phanit’ is one of the most important festivals of the Tangkhul tribe and it is celebrated annually. In my village Somdal, situated in the Ukhrul district of Manipur, Luita Phanit is celebrated in the month of March every year. The celebration begins with the invocation of the headman for a bountiful harvest, followed by the ceremonial ritual of sowing seeds performed by his wife. The main event of the festival is the tug of war, which is done using vines procured from the jungle. On the last day of the festival, all the residents take part in this massive tug of war of the sexes that ends only when the vine breaks!

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The locals come together to play the “tug of war” game | Photo by Thanmiso Khamrang

A long-running, enjoyable social gathering that every visitor fondly attends is the ‘Marching’. After the day’s celebration, the locals assemble at the village square, donning the traditional attires and head gears known as ‘Pasi’. They form march in circles to the beat of drums while singing folk songs and hymns till sundown. This simple yet exciting activity is the highlight of the festival for both partakers and spectators alike!”

~ Thanmiso Khamrang from Manipur

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People from the village, as well as visitors gathered in traditional attire to march around to the beat of drums while singing folk songs and hymns till sundown | Photo by Thanmiso Khamrang

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Cheerful locals as they sing hymns and march around the village | Photo by Thanmiso Khamrang