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Yaoshang festival begins with fanfare
Correspondent IMPHAL, MAR 19:
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Published on 20 Mar. 2011 1:07 AM IST
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The five-day ‘Yaoshang’ celebration, the biggest festival of Manipur coinciding with Holi was celebrated with fanfare.
Governor of Manipur Gurbachan Jagat, chief minister O Ibobi, Maj. Gen. D.S. Hooda, GOC Red Shield Division and Maj. Gen. C.A. Krishnan, IGAR (South) extended greetings to the people of the state on the occasion of Yaoshang.
While the governor expressed hope that the festival would boost sportsmanship among Manipuri youth and acknowledged the participation of people in the celebration, the chief minister in his greeting message said the festival would inspire the people to forget their differences and spread the message of love harmony and friendship amongst different communities in the state.
The youth-oriented festival was marked with various sports activities organized in every neighborhood throughout the day. Elders who watched the festival viewed that one of the reasons for Manipur excelling in sports at national and international levels was due to ‘Yaoshang’ celebration as it promoted sporting excellence.
The festival began with the symbolic burning of a ‘Yaoshang’ (a small thatch hut) followed by ‘Naka-theng’, during which children go from house to house in the locality to collect money to buy colours and other paraphernalia for the celebration. During the festival, the state capital shuts down by 7 pm. The entire valley wore a festive look as the festive show of Holi was celebrated in Govindajee temple.
Business establishments, government offices and banks remain closed, however, the budget session of the Assembly would have its sitting during the festival as government would observe holiday only for two days.

 
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