History and Origin of Lai Haraoba In English

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History and Origin of Lai Haraoba


Lai Haroba is a festival associated with the Meitei people, celebrated to please Umang Lai, the traditional deities of Sanmahism.

Translated, Lai Haraoba means making fun of the gods in Mytilene. In this festival, people worship Sanmahi, Pakhangba, Nongpok Ningtho and about 364 Umang Lai or gods of the forest.

The festival is held to commemorate the contribution of the gods in the creation of the universe and is also celebrated to commemorate the evolution of plants, animals and humans.

There are four types of Lai Haraoba prevalent in the Meitei society, namely, Kanglei Haraoba, Moirang Haraoba, Kaking Haraoba and Chakpa Haraoba.

Kanglei Haraoba is performed in many parts of the valley of Manipur. Moirang Haraoba is only in Moirang, Kaking Haraoba is held in Kakching and Chakpa Haraoba is celebrated in Andro, Phayeng, Sekmai, Kautruk, Khukhul, Limaram and Tairenpokpi.


Thougal Jagoi is a dance performed during the Lai Haraoba festival. It is a ritualistic festival of the Meitei people celebrated since ancient times.

It is a ritual act of the creation myth. It reflects the entire culture of Manipur and shows the close relationship between the people of the hills and the plains.

It is a combination of religious texts, traditional music and dance, traditional social values ​​and ancient cultural aspects.

Rituals within the festival are similar except for certain items or hymns, such as Ikoba, Ikarol, and Yakarol at the beginning and Mikon Thagonba, Ngapram Tanba at the end of the festival.

In the performances, the story of growth with the sensual love-affairs of Nongpok Ningthou and Panthoibi is depicted and played out equally in all types of lai haroba.

According to folklore, the gods placed the first Lai Haroba on the Kubru hill so that their descendants would imitate them by performing similar rites.

Lai Haroba Ishi

Lai Haroba Ishi is a famous folk song which is mainly played during Lai Haroba. The song contains lyrics making indirect references to erotic mysticism. The main feature of the song is the rhythm in its tune.

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