There is no end to the festive season in Manipur and celebrations, then and there, with a lot of merriment and rejoicing is a part and parcel of the life of every one living in and traveling to Manipur. From the festivals in Manipur, the Kang Festival in Manipur deserves a special mention as it is one of the most important festivals of the Hindus living in Manipur. This is the ‘Rathayatra’of Manipur which mainly takes place in the Govindajee Temple.
Description of Kang Festival
The Hindu Festival of Rata Jatra is celebrated in Manipur as the Kang Festival. During the Kang festival, Lord Jagannath leaves his abode at the temple and travels in a car which is pulled by the devotees and the pilgrims. This car in which the Lord travels is called ‘Kang’ in Manipur. Pulling the ‘Kang’ of the Lord is considered to be of great honor and respect and thus the devotees and pilgrims compete with each other for the opportunity. The procession is accompanied with music of bells, gongs, drums,nahal and conch. There are offerings of barti,(which are short cotton wrapped cotton balls soaked in ghee), flowers and fruits which are arranged at the different localities. The devotees perform Kirtan ‘Khubakisei’ and there are community feasts arranged in the evenings. The celebrations for the Kang festival continue for 10 days with a lot of enthusiasm and fervor.
Time for celebrating Kang Festival
The Kang Festival in Manipur is celebrated for a span of 10 days during the month of July.