Ragailong celebrates Gudui Festival

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 17: People of Ragailong on Friday celebrated Gudui festival with much prompt and gaiety.
Women prepared their best ginger soup and drink - Zoungao (Yungou - liquor) and offered them to Tingkao Rakwang and Kangdailu (Phouoibi).
Celebrated every year on 13th day of Kalen, the locals have belief that the aged festival started from the time when God and men live together on earth.
The ginger soup and the drinks are believed to revitalise the men and give them strength to carry out their works in the filed and help families. They strengthen the bonds among the community and bring bountiful crop yield and prosperity. During the celebration they sacrificed cock and prayed for bountiful crops.
While the elders and the youth shared ginger soup and Zoungao, married women shared the taste of the ginger soup to strengthen the bonds between them.
Men and women on opposite sides played tug of war. In olden days, they used a long bamboo in place of rope to play tug of war. Now they use rope, as it is safe and easy, said elders.
The tug of war is not only a playful game but has deep meaning and beliefs associated with it. The tug of war is a carefully choreographed ritual where men let the women win first. The women winning first signifies that Kangdailu (Phouoibi Ema Leirembi), happy with the result will bring good crop yield.
The men sitting on Pakhang-Phan, sung Khulang eshei which they believe drives the pests away from the fields/plantations.
Elders of Kakhulong Khun, Maibas, Maibis, men, women and children participated in the festival.