The Shirui Lily festival, one of the biggest festivals of Manipur and of the Northeast, has put forth a renewed push for the preservation of the Shirui Lily. The festival has become a rallying point for the people of the Shirui hills area in Ukhrul district to take efforts to save the endangered flower species from extinction.
This year, the fifth edition of the Shirui Lily festival could not take place due to the ethnic violence that engulfed the state of Manipur. However for next year, the people of Ukhrul are hopeful that the Shirui Lily festival will return in its full grandeur. Already work is being undertaken by the locals to preserve the rare flower by weeding out all the invasive plants in the area and also by taking other efforts.
Locals are realising the importance of the festival and how much of a major role it is playing in putting focus on the rare Shirui Lily flower and push for efforts to preserve it and save it from extinction.
Ever since the festival began in 2017, more focus has come to save the state flower of Manipur from extinction. The festival, held under the aegis of the Manipur government, is an effort to develop and implement sustainable and responsible tourism in the state and also to increase awareness about the endangered species. Held every year around April to May, the festival provides an opportunity for people from various communities and tribes to come together, explore the highest hill-station of Manipur, the picturesque Ukhrul district and get deeper insights about the Tangkhul Naga tribe dwelling there.
The festival has also brought forth a renewed vigour among the locals to preserve the Shirui Lily while addressing issues such as climate change, environmental degradation, irresponsible tourists and over exploitation. Locals have also been engaged in periodic efforts to weed out invasive plants such as the dwarf bamboo species ‘Machun’ in the Shirui Lily habitat.
The Shirui Lily Festival has also given a new awakening among the locals to save the Shirui Lily from the dangers of extinction. The efforts by the N Biren Singh government in this regard has brought in a wave of awareness among the people so that steps can be taken in this regard. Locals are appreciating the government's efforts in giving importance to the rare flower that grows only in the Shirui hills range of Ukhrul district.
The Shirui festival is a colourful celebration spread over 4 days showcasing numerous traditional and cultural activities. The events during the festival includes live music concerts, folk performances, traditional dances, indigenous games and competitions, art and handicraft exhibitions, ethnic food eateries and various adventure activities like camping, biking and a lot more.
Shirock, the musical extravaganza of live music concerts and competition is one of the major highlights of the festival that attracts a large number of crowds from different corners of the State, and even from the neighboring states.
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