The significance of Luira Phanit lies in its call for the villagers to seek the divine blessings for the start of their seed sowing activities for the new year.
This was stated by Chingai MLA Khashim Vashum who graced the inaugural function of Luira Phanit, the seed sowing festival, at Ringui village in Western Ukhrul on Thursday.
Observing that celebration of Luira Phanit has undergone a great change over the years across the district, MLA Khashim Vashum said that changes go along with the pace of time.
As far as the changes being witnessed in the celebration of age-old cultural festivals like Luira Phanit are concerned, these are considered a welcome development in terms of better amenities which improve the festival experience.
“No doubt, these changes have improved the way we celebrate and experience the festival. We can see better sound system, decorations and other amenities. But then, when it comes to preserving the origin or the spirit of Luira Phanit, there should never be any compromise,” MLA Khashim Vashum exhorted the gathering at the village public ground.
After all, these improvements are all outward things and the real fulfillment would be to delve into the essence and original meaning of the festival. “That’s to go along with how our forefathers actually meant it,” he said.
“Celebrating this festival teaches us all to seek the divine blessings ahead of the start of the seed sowing activities for the new year. By the same token, the celebration of this festival signifies an invitation for the students to call out for blessings from the Almighty for their ensuing new academic year,” he continued.
“On this auspicious occasion, I appeal to all the upcoming youngsters to uphold the real meaning of Luira Phanit for there lies the blessing from above,” the MLA pleaded.
On his arrival, the MLA was accorded a warm welcome by the village folk led by local headman Atem A Shimray. As a mark of respect, he was lifted onto a palanquin by a bevy of young men and women of the village before leading him into the celebration venue.
According to the villagers, the practice of carrying people on a palanquin is an age-old ritual custom followed by the village to show respect to persons of high social status and is performed particularly during the seed sowing festival to keep alive the tradition.
Former Ukhrul ADC chairman Dr Yaronsho Ngalung attended the inaugural function as guest of honor along with former ADC member Thanchipem Jagoi.
As part of the festival, a wide array of cultural performances and entertainment items were displayed to enthral the crowd.