Ningol Chakkouba is a social celebration for the Meitei community in Manipur which is celebrated in the month of Hiyanggei. According to Manipur lunar calendar it is scheduled in second lunar day of the month, which according to English calendar falls in October-November. Ningol Chakkouba is also compared with the Bhagini Hasta Bhojanam which is a south Indian festival.
Ningol Chakkouba 2018
Ningol Chakkouba where Ningol means daughter of family and chakouba is meal or feast, dedicated to strengthen the bond between married ladies and their parental families. On this day Nigol (married women) are invited for lunch or dinner at their parental house with their children and receive gifts from their parents and brothers. In this year Ningol Chakkouba is going to be celebrated on Monday, 5th November 2018.
Origin of Ningol Chakouba
Although the dates are not known of this festival but according to the folktales there was a Queen whose name was Laisana who ruled the kingdom around fourth century, started this festival as Piba Chakkouba where Piba means son. At that time brother was invited to sister’s house for feast or meal and this ritual was followed till 19th century when the king during 19th century named Maharaj Chandrakriti found the task of visiting each sister’s house troublesome, he then invited his all sisters to his palace instead of visiting each sisters separately, thus he found as an alternative of the rituals and from then onwards Piba Chakkouba became Ningol Chakkouba.
Significance of Ningol Chakkouba
There is a huge significance of Ningol Chakkouba for the Meitei community in Manipur, this day is dedicated to the family bond and the bond between the siblings. In other term it is a festival of family get together. This day fortify the bond between married ladies and their parental families all over Manipur. This day is a symbol of family love and affection. This day is widely celebrated in Manipur and people start the preparations a week before.
Celebration of Ningol Chakkouba
On this day invitations are sent by the Ningols parental family to the Ningol. The invitations are given in betel leaves folded over betel nuts and are sent before the 2nd day of Hiyanggei. On the final day of Ningol Chakkouba, women with her family, dresses up traditionally and arrives to her parental family with fruits, sweets and other delicacies. Then the Ningols are offered grand feast which generally consists meat items, mainly fish and other traditional things such as iromba, kanghou, champut etc. later in afternoon, before leaving gifts are presented to ningols and her children and after which ningols in return give their family members blessings.
Nowadays shopping has grown so big on this day which makes the market areas crowded place. Fish fairs are also held on this day and there are various functions which are dedicated to married women (Ningols). On this day special screenings of current movies are also shown at theatres. In various localities in Manipur families conduct tambola game which is a very popular game out there and present gifts and prizes to the winner.