Celebrated in the month of May, Lai-Haraoba is an important festival of Manipur celebrated to revere the local deities such as Umang Thai.
The festival of Lai-Haraobais characterized by the worship of traditional deities and ancestors. According to the legends, in the beginning Guru Sidaba was the greatest lord who lived in dark vacuum. Once the room in which he lived got illuminated with different colors of rainbow, motivating him to create the world. To accomplish this mission he sent, Atiya Guru Sidaba with a creature who maneuvered a wiry network in which human life was to be integrated.
Atiya Guru decided to harden the framework and approached Sidaba Guru for the purpose. Sidaba provided him some dirt for his navel and nine men from the right side and seven women from the left side to serve Atiya Guru. Atiya Guru started the work again and took the help of these men and women. The first two attempts of Atiya Guru were frustrated by Harba.Guru Sidaba sent the goddess of lightening to the rescue of Atiya Guru who enslaved Harba. Atiya Guru then solidified the framework and was made suitable for human life. To celebrate the whole process, Lai-Haraoba festival is observed every year and is an important Manipuri festival.
Lai-Haraoba therefore celebrate the process of creation and twelve events display the phases of creation. The festival is marked by songs and dance performances and is celebrated in the month of April and May.