Virus fears dampen Cheiraoba spirit among the Meitei community

Newmai News Network

Imphal | March 25

COVID-19 fears have dampened Cheiraoba (Meiteis' New Year) spirit in Manipur on Wednesday, barely a day after the first positive case of the disease was detected in the state.


“SajibuCheiraoba,” the New Year of Meitei lunar calendar was celebrated on Wednesday in a very low key affair. Except religious rituals at each Meitei family, no other outdoors events related with the festival were performed.


Cheiraoba is the New Year festival of the Meitei community. It is celebrated on the first day of the month Sajibu (usually falls in March or April).


Traditionally, the celebration begins with ritual offerings of fruits, vegetables, rice and other uncooked food items to the Meitei deity LainingthouSanamahi in the morning.


After special meal together by the family members, people, particularly youths and young couples with their wards worship the hill deity after climbing nearby hills.


Even though, the traditional rituals in the houses were performed, people stayed away from climbing nearby hills to worship the hill deity.


COVID-19 fears coupled with total lockdown imposed by the government by promulgating section 144 of CrPC have been the reasons.