After two years of break due to COVID-19, the state level Shirui Lily Festival kicked-started on May 25 at Shirui village ground in Ukhrul district of Manipur.
Shirui Lily, which blooms in late May to early June, has become a well-known plant/lily in the world because of its rarity. The flower is found only on top of the Shirui Hill of Ukhrul district in Manipur.
Governor La Ganesan inaugurated the 4th edition of the festival in the presence of chief minister N Biren Singh who was present as the functional president. The Department of Tourism, Government of Manipur in collaboration with the Ukhrul district administration and Shirui village authority is organising the event which will continue till May 28.
The festival will be mainly held at Shirui village ground. As part of the festival, stalls of various traditional products have been opened. The other location will be at Bakshi ground at Dungrei which will take up Shirock, an evening singing competition from various bands from across the country.
A few unique displays during this festival are mithuns, which rared mostly in the northern areas of Ukhrul, Haofa, an endangered Tangkhul dog and the famous Lungpi pottery.
Other features during the festival includes Miss Shirui Lily beauty contest, cycling, marathon, 7-a-side football, essay writing, music and many more. Special appearances by Miss Universe 3rd runners up, Adline Castenino as showstopper at the opening fashion show and The Monument, a British based rock band at Bakshi ground on May 28 evening are some of the few highlights.
In his inaugural speech, the governor said the festival is annually celebrated in Manipur and features music, food, traditional games and other cultural activities which aims to increase awareness about this rare flower and develop sustainable and responsible tourism in Manipur. He further stated that this flower needed proper scientific study so that this famous flower can continue to thrive in its original habitat.
Chief minister N Biren Singh addressed the gathering that Rs 46 crore has been sanctioned under the minority affairs, PMJVK scheme, for the construction of Shirui heritage village and upgradation of Bakshi ground. He also informed that constructions of cable cars at Loktak and Shirui are in the pipeline. Referring to the upgradation of Pettigrew College to a university, one of the oldest colleges in the state, he said that one more bus has recently been given.