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Sangai Festival – It’s only getting bigger and better!

26 Nov 2019

Every year in the month of November, Manipur rejoices at its best by celebrating its biggest cultural festival – the Sangai Festival. And, it’s getting bigger with each year.

Sangai Festival, the biggest annual cultural festival organized by Department of Tourism, Manipur is celebrated for 10 days every year in the fall of November in Imphal, the capital city of Manipur, with the finest aspiration to uphold Manipur as a world-class tourism destination staging the best of its art and culture, handloom and handicrafts, indigenous sports and various other traditional activities. This year the festival has shortened to only a week – from the 24th till 30th of November but has been expanded to other districts such as Bishnupur and Senapati keeping in view with the increasing number of visitors.


(Image Courtesy: Manipur Tourism)

Sangai Festival was renamed from Tourism Festival in 2010 rejoicing the name of the gentle bow-antlered deer Sangai, the State animal of Manipur, which is found only at the floating Keibul Lamjao National Park in Loktak Lake, Manipur. The festival has been growing rapidly and massively in the recent past. The 2011’s edition had been the significant start observing the ethnic diversity of Manipur society. 2017’s edition made a substantial leap with its inclusion of artists and traders not only from various other states of India but also from various Asian countries such as Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, etc. In the recent editions, the festival has expanded its event venues to various corners of the state.

                                     (Image Courtesy: Manipur Tourism)

Last year, the opening ceremony of the festival took place at Loktak Lake and Keibul Lamjao National Park in Moirang, Manipur along with various cultural programmes and adventurous water sports. Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre (BOAT) and Hapta Kangjeibung in Konung Mamang, Imphal (East) is the main venue of the festival where the primary cultural shows take place. A heritage park to explore the rich ancestral culture and tradition and numerous food courts to try out the local cuisines are set up inside the main venue. Mapal Kangjeibung, Khuman Lampak Indoor Stadium and Trade and Expo Centre in Lamboikhongnangkhong also cater various indigenous games and entertainment programs throughout the whole 10 days of the festival. Mao, a hill station in Senapati district of Manipur, celebrated Cherry Blossom Festival as a part of Sangai Festival.


   (Image Courtesy: Manipur Tourism)

During the festival, numerous programs and events are showcased at these venues that reflect the State’s proud cultural heritage that dwells among the various tribes of Manipur. The festival also flaunts an enormous spread of native cuisines that are sure to make anyone go on about for a while once they lay their hands on them. From the arty performances and traditional dances to the numerous stalls offering handicrafts and handloom products, the art and cultural exhibitions at the festival is an immense treat to the eye of the spectators that the festival seems too short-lived. The festival always displays a few new entertaining showcases every year, a sight that is totally new to the people of Manipur. So, now that the festival is running full swing, people can come out and be a part of the brand-new experiences at Sangai Festival 2019.

                            (Image Courtesy: Manipur Tourism)

This year it expects to welcome over 50,000 attendees including national leaders, policy-makers, industry experts, business delegates and exhibitors from countries like Russia, South Korea, Egypt, Hawai, Laos, Maldives, Taiwan, U.A.E., Zimbabwe and many more. Major highlights of the festival will range from International and National Cultural shows to various other entertainment programs such as fashion show, photo exhibitions, musical nights, WW-II exhibitions, flow show, on top of the adventurous sports and traditional games. So, let us all come out and celebrate Sangai Festival 2019 together.

                          (Image Courtesy: Manipur Tourism)

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