Lai Haraoba[1] is a festival associated with the Meetei people, celebrated to please the Umang Lai, the traditional deities of Sanamahism.[2] Translated, Lai Haraoba means "merry making of the Gods"[3] in Meetei.

Laiching Jagoi, a ritualistic dance performed by Maibis (local girls and youths)during the Lai Haraoba festival
Lai Lamthokpa or outing of the gods is organised during the Lai Haraoba festival


The rituals within the festival are the same except in some items or hymns, such as ikouba, ikourol, and yakairol at the beginning and mikon thagonba, ngaprum tanba at the end of the festival. In the performances, the evolution story with the amorous love-affairs of Nongpok Ninghthou and Panthoibi is depicted and played equally in all kinds of lai haraoba.[4]

Thougal Jagoi, a dance performed during the Lai Haraoba festival

Lai Haraoba is a ritualistic festival of the Meiteis observing from the ancient times. It is a ritual enactment of the creation myth. It mirrors the entire culture of Manipur and depicts the close affinities between the hill and plain people. It is in fact the combination of religious recitations, traditional music and dance, traditional social values and ancient cultural aspects.

Lai Haraoba IsheiEdit

Lai Haraoba Ishei is a famous folk song played mainly during Lai Haraoba. This song contains lyrics with veiled references to erotic mysticism. The main quality of the song is the rhythm in its tune.[5]

The pena, a musical instrument used in the festival


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Samson, Kamei (2015). "Social Change among the Tribes of Manipur Valley: A Case Study of Rongmei". Sociological Bulletin. 64 (3): 356–374. ISSN 0038-0229.
  2. ^ Ayyappapanicker, K.; Sahitya Akademi (1997). Medieval Indian Literature: An Anthology. Sahitya Akademi. p. 330. ISBN 978-81-260-0365-5.
  3. ^ Acharya, Amitangshu; Soibam Haripriya (27 July 2007). "Respect to foster unity in cultural mosaic - festival/lai haraoba". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 November 2008.
  4. ^ Allen, N. J. (1999). "Review of The Pleasing of the Gods: Meitei Lai Haraoba". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 62 (1): 160–161. ISSN 0041-977X.
  5. ^ "Lai Haraoba Ishei". India9.com. 7 June 2005. Retrieved 5 November 2008.
  6. ^ MCDUIE-RA, DUNCAN (2012). "The 'North-East' Map of Delhi". Economic and Political Weekly. 47 (30): 69–77. ISSN 0012-9976.
  7. ^ Devi, Khwairakpam Renuka (2011). "REPRESENTATION OF THE PRE-VAISHNAVITE CULTURE OF THE MEITEIS: "CHEITHAROL KUMPAPA" OF MANIPUR". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 72: 501–508. ISSN 2249-1937.
  • Parratt, Saroj Nalini; John Parratt (1997). The Pleasing of the Gods: Meitei Lai Haraoba. Vikas Publishing House.

Further readingEdit

  • Kshetrimayum, Otojit. (2014). Ritual, Politics and Power in North East India: Contexualising the Lai Haraoba of Manipur. New Delhi: Ruby Press & Co.