The Imoinu Eratpa festival was observed in a low-key manner, particularly among the Meitei community at the backdrop of the prevailing unrest in Manipur; however, various markets in Imphal city remained busy.
Imoinu is the goddess of wealth, prosperity and Imoinu Eratpa is a festival of light which is celebrated annually on the 12th of the Wakching month of the Meitei lunar calendar.
With the prevailing crisis which erupted on May 3 in Manipur, the state has been under a tense atmosphere with reports of sporadic firing and violence taking place at various vulnerable and peripheral areas though the Central government has deployed over 80,000 central forces in addition to over 30,000 state forces including personnel of the Manipur Rifles and Indian Reserve Battalion.
The Imoinu festival is celebrated with lights and by offering fruits, rations and other edible items. During the night, people decorate their homes and streets with lights. However, the festival is observed by performances of only the rituals in the state this year.
The festival is mostly celebrated by Meiteis who follow Sanamahism but many who follow Hinduism also offer fish, fruits and vegetables at their respective kitchen hearths.
The state government had also started making arrangements to carry out the Imoinu Fish festival on Monday as a part of the festival. However, the event was cancelled after womenfolk demonstrated a protest at the scheduled place of the event at Hapta Kangjeibung, Palace Compound, Imphal.
The womenfolk demonstrated the protest as Manipur has been under turmoil for over 8 months.
Many of the festivals including Ningol Chakouba, which is one of the biggest festivals of the state, were not observed due to the unrest of Manipur.