Thabal chongba

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Thabal chongba or dancing by moonlight, dance in which the participants join hands in a circle[1] is a popular Manipuri folk dance associated with the festival of Yaoshang in India.


Traditionally, conservative Kangleicha (Meitei) parents did not allow their daughters to go out and meet young men without their consent. Thabal chongba provided the only chance for girls to meet and talk to boys. In earlier times, this dance was performed in the moonlight accompanied by folk songs. The music is rhythmic beating of drums accompanied by other instruments. It is performed in every locality on all the five days of the festival. As soon as the moon rises over the hills, the flute, drums and cymbals start. The boys and girls in a circle clutch each other's hands with rhythms of music slow and fast, high and low, up and down. If the number is great they may form two or three rows so that everybody and anybody can participate in the dance.

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  1. ^ # The religion of Manipur: beliefs, rituals, and historical development by Saroj Nalini Parratt, author's thesis, Australian National University (1974)

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