About Yaoshang Festival:
- The festival is celebrated every year on the full moon of Lamta month (February-March) of the Meitei lunar calendar.
- The festival is celebrated by the Meitei people who are predominantly Hindu.
- It is celebrated at the same time as Holi and is known as ‘Manipur’s version of Holi’.
- The five-day-long celebration begins with the burning of ‘yaoshang’ (a small thatch hut/straw hut) which is constructed with bamboo and straws on the first day
- The highlight of the festival is the ThabalChongba, a traditional Manipuri folk dance where boys and girls hold hands and sing and dance in a circle.
- The festival marks the rejuvenation of the spirit of life and commemorates the birthday of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
- Children visit neighbours to ask for a monetary donation which is called nakatheng.
Who are the Meitei people?
- Meiteis are the dominant population of Manipur in northeastern India.
- A majority follow Hinduism while more than 8% are Muslims, locally known as Pangals.
- The Marup system (literally, "friendship association"), a type of cooperative saving and credit institution, is an intriguing aspect of Meitei village's socio-economic organisation.
- They speak a Tibeto-Burman language, they differ culturally from the surrounding hill tribes by following Hindu customs
Q1) Who is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is a devotee of Krishna in Mayapur, West Bengal, India in the late fifteenth century. He introduced sankirtan, widespread congregational chanting of the Supreme Person’s names, as the most effective means by which anyone can achieve spiritual perfection.