Ningol Chakouba festival was celebrated recently in Manipur. It is dedicated to sharing love and bonding among siblings in the State. Celebrated by the people of Manipur, it allows siblings to eat together and enjoy some quality time at their parental house after the sister’s marriage.
The term ‘Ningo’ means daughters and ‘Chakouba’ means feast. According to traditional belief, the festival dates back to the fourth century. Married women are invited to their parent’s house along with their children for lunch. The festival is celebrated on the second day of New Moon in the Manipuri month of Hiyangei (October/November).
Lunch invitation wrapped in betel leaf with betel nuts is sent to the married sisters by the brothers or other male members in the house. Women wear their finest traditional Manipuri dress, accessories and visit their parent’s house with various eatables, like fruits, snacks and sweets. After lunch, the daughters are presented with gifts from their parents and showered with blessings for a long and healthy life.
Traditional dishes like Nga-touba (fish fry), Sinju (vegetable salad with fermented fish), chamfut (boiled vegetables), soibum thongba (fermented bamboo shoot curry), Uti (classical Manipuri vegetarian dish) are prepared on this festival.
On the occasion of Ningol Chakouba, the Department of Fisheries of Government of Manipur organized the annual fish fair-cum fish crop competition, at DM College of Arts Ground, Thameiband. A variety of fish were displayed for competition and sale.