Hunphun Luira Festival: Manipur
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Virgin dancers at Ukhrul seed sowing festival cynosure of all eyes
Written by The Peoples Chronicle
The importance of dance performed by charming girls at Ukhrul’s seed sowing festival or Hunphun Luira Festival, is that the dance presented by the fairer sex is executed by virgin belles to show their moral chastity.
Locally known as “Laa Khanganui” the virgin dance is typically attended by more than hundred girls from six localities of Ukhrul.They are dressed in their finest traditional costumes and ornaments. Awed spectators do not bat an eyelid at the sight of the dancers.
The Tangkhuls’ believe ‘Laa Khanganui’ which is performed only during Luira (seed sowing) festival, as a true form of beauty contest. The dance is also one of the costliest dances of the tribe as the dancers have to be attired in full traditional costumes. In olden days no belles dared to join the performance if they had defiled their chastity for fear of natural calamities.
Later, Luiyainaotang won the virgin dance competition beating the other five localities.
In Tug-of-War, Khararphung became the champion in Men’s category while Tangrei won the Women’s category.
The overall champion of Hunphun Luira 2014 was shared by Kasomtang and Awungtang.