Etymology of Lui Ngai Ni
Coined from three different Naga languages, the word Lui is derived from Luiraphanit, which is a Tangkhul word for seed sowing festival. The word Ngai means festival in Rongmei language and lastly Ni is a Mao word, which has similar connotation with the word Lui.
Overview of Lui Ngai Ni
The festival of Lui Ngai Ni heralds the season of spring and is celebrated annually in the month of February. During the festival, the various Naga tribes of the state come together at a designated location to converge and showcase their rich cultural heritage. Apart from the major Naga tribes in Manipur, other Naga tribes from the other north eastern states like Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh also partake in the festivities as special guests and invitees.
Since the year 1988, the Lui Ngai Ni festival was declared as a state holiday. This is because the Ministry of Tourism of Government of India declared it as a special day of remembrance and recognition for the Nagas. Various cultural activities are showcased during the festival such as various forms of traditional folk dances and songs, including various cultural costume contests, lighting the fire, drum beating etc. The primary spots for the festival of Lui-Ngai-Ni are at the Naga inhabited district headquarters namely Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Senapati and Chandel.
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