Ukhrul: Hungpung Dharreo Phanit, one of the biggest pre-harvest festivals in Ukhrul district received a record-breaking footfall on Saturday, the highest yet. The festival this year received an estimate of over 20,000 visitors.
The market for the festival this year was opened by chief guest T S Shimreingam Angelus, MCS (Retd) at Bakshi Mini Stadium, Ukhrul headquarters.
Speaking at the Hungpung Dharreo festival, the chief guest reminded how Hungpung as ‘Amei kharar’ and head of the Long, Hungpunglong preserved and maintained the traditional culture and rituals and festivals till today. He acknowledged the few elders of Kasomtang for starting the Maa Dharreo in 1964 that eventually became Dharreo in 1968.
He further wished everyone, unity and harmony during the Dharreo festival.
Dharreo this year saw over a total of 170 stalls registered for agricultural and horticultural items, livestock items, hotels etc.
The numbers for Lakao (gambling) and other games have not been ascertained so far. Speculations of money being exchanged at the festival is estimated in terms of crores of rupees. Not surprisingly, Lakao drew its own record players.
The biggest and most sought after item was Khui (wasp larvae). Villages as far as Jessami, Ngahui, Kalhang etc made their presence with the choicest of Khui. Turkey, hao har (local chicken), ducks, local fish and pork are other magnets for lottery/card players.
The economic exchange once a year at the festival venue and periphery during the festival is a huge business opportunity not only for the host village Hungpung, but Tangkhul community at large.
(Courtesy: Ekhon TV)