Imphal, May 8 : The Manipuris celebrate their New Year Day climbing hills, along with merry making. Climbing hills signifies for them rise in prosperity and achievement of a new high in life.
This year "Cheiraoba" or the New Year Day was celebrated on April 8.
The old ritual of climbing hills goes with the belief that it takes the climber to a new high in life, and leads to peace and prosperity.
Thousands of people this year too came out of their houses irrespective of their caste, creed or age and celebrated the occasion by climbing hills.
During the festival of Cheiraoba in Manipur the people worship Sanamahi, who is the local deity.
On this occasion, special dishes are prepared and offered to various deities.
A devout Manipuri Irom Mobi Singh, said: "Everyday, we read in newspapers about killings or bomb blasts. Innocent people are killed but in spite of that we observe this festival. We pray to God and goddesses to stop these killings and want unity and peace. And, for that we climb hills."
People generally offer prayers for their lives to take a positive turn. This year everyone prayed for peace and end to violence in the State that has made life difficult for them.
Shakuntala, a visitor from Haryana, said: "The best thing about Manipur, is that ladies can move around all alone. I've travelled all over India but I like Manipur the best."
The New Year celebrations are also followed by a traditional folk dance "Thaba Chongba",
On the New Year, the youth gather and celebrate the occasion with pomp and gaiety. Boys wearing women's attire perform their traditional dances.
With the echo of drumbeats and the sounds of music, and smiling people the occasion the New Year Day celebrations was a special treat for one and all.
All of them hoped that they would be able to enjoy life with peace.