Nagas across the State of Manipur are celebrating the seed-sowing festival of Lui-Ngai-Ni. The festival heralds the season of seed sowing and marks the start of the year for the Nagas and the festival was declared a state holiday since 1988 and is held every year on Feb 14-15.
This time, Nagas celebrating the festival in Ukhrul held up banners extending solidarity to the Chinese who are currently facing a crisis due to the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in the State.
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Wishing the people of the State on the occasion, Manipur CM N Biren Singh released a statement which read, "Lui-Ngai-Ni, the seed sowing festival celebrated during the spring season, is one of the biggest festivals of the Nagas. The festival also reflects the rich cultural heritage of the Nagas. In the festival, the blessings of the supreme deity is besought on the seeds sown so that they grow to bear fruits for a bountiful harvest."
The word 'Lui-Ngai-Ni' is coined from three different Naga languages. 'Lui' comes from 'Luiraphanit', a Tangkhul word for seed sowing festival; 'Ngai' means festival in Rongmei language and 'Ni' is a Mao word for the seed sowing festival.
Biren Singh also wished for "oneness" and "brotherhood" among all communities in the State.
Manipur Minister Th Biswajit also sent his greetings and wished the people, especially Naga brethren, a joyous and auspicious Lui-Ngai-Ni. "The festival serves as a crucial bond of unity amongst the Naga tribes... While celebrating the festival in its true spirit, let us sow the seed of love, peace and harmony to reap a bountiful crop yield of a peaceful and prosperous Manipur," he said in his message.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma also took to Twitter to express his solidarity with the Nagas in Manipur who are celebrating the festival today. Conrad wrote, "On the joyous occasion of Lui-Ngai-Ni, I extend my greetings to the people of Manipur and my special wishes to the Naga tribes of the state celebrating the seed sowing festival. May God shower Manipur with his abundant blessings."
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