The Enchanted Bloom: The Shirui Lily Festival of Manipur

Shirui Lily Festival
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The Shirui Lily Festival is a special annual event celebrated to honor a beautiful flower called the Shirui Lily. This flower is very rare and can only be found in one place, which is Manipur. It grows on top of a hill called Shirui in Manipur. This festival is celebrated in the Ukhrul district of the state either in the month of May or June.

It is the cultural state festival of Manipur organize every year by Manipur tourism department. Earlier the festival was celebrated by the local residents of Shirui village located in Ukhrul district to pay tribute to the Shirui lily flower. But, in 2017, the state government declared the Shirui lily festival as the state festival of Manipur.

Shiroi Lily Festival
Image via Kumhei

The Shirui Lily Festival celebrates the state flower, Shirui Lily. People honor this rare and endangered flower, which grows only in the hills of Ukhrul from May last week to June second week. The festival takes place when the flower is blooming at its peak. Its pleasant fragrance fills the air when it blooms in Manipur.

The Shirui Festival spans 4 days and showcases various traditional and cultural activities. Events include live music concerts, traditional dances, folk performances, indigenous games, art and handicraft exhibitions. One can also find the ethnic food stalls, and adventure activities like camping and biking. Shirock, a musical performance featuring live concerts and competitions, stands out as a major highlight of the festival. It draws peoples from different parts of the State and neighboring states.

Shirui Lily Festival
Image via EastMojo

The festival’s main goal is to raise awareness and protect the endangered state flower, Shirui Lily. It brings people together from different communities and tribes to explore Manipur’s highest hill-station and learn about the Tangkhul Naga tribe living there. Climbing the Shirui hills offers an exciting trek and a chance to see this rare flower.

The festival also demonstrates the age-old traditions and culture of Ukhrul’s inhabitants through live music, cultural shows, exhibits, indigenous games, beauty pageants, and sports competitions like the Shirui Lily Grand Prix. It represents a crucial initiative by Manipur Tourism to foster sustainable and responsible tourism within the state. The 2019 festival successfully promoted Ukhrul district as a must-visit tourist destination in Manipur, drawing visitors from India and other countries.

Pankaj Luitel is a graduate from Manipur University and loves reading and writing. At MountainEcho, Pankaj contributes to the content team efforts and regularly writes for our website

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