“Hangrai”

By M. Debbarma

January 15, 2024

In Tripura’s land where tales unfold,

Hangrai‘s celebration, a story to be told.

A grand pomp and show, every year anew,

 Salutations, food, dance, and the Hangrai Nok too.

Two to three days of preparation commence,

 Houses sparkle, a dazzling renaissance.

White-washed utensils, articles, and clothes,

 A canvas for festivities that everyone knows.

Decorations adorn homes, a riot of cheer,

Hangrai‘s spirit drawing everyone near.

Awangs and Mui, a culinary delight,

Inviting relatives for a feast, day turning to night.

Boys and girls, from seven to nineteen,

 Embark on a journey, a spectacle to be seen.

Hangrai Nok, a hut of bamboo and thatch,

A masterpiece rising, a communal match.

Collecting thatch from the paddy field’s grace,

A bond forming, a shared communal space.

Five to seven days of building with glee,

The Hangrai Nok stands, a symbol to be.

Festive eve arrives, funds collected high,

 Cooking in the hut, beneath the starry sky.

Feasting, dancing, joy echoing through,

Sleeping under the cold night’s dew.

Before dawn breaks, before the rooster’s crow,

A ritual unfolds, a fiery show.

The Hangrai Nok set ablaze, a spectacular sight,

 Cleansing flames, rising in the cold night.

A holy dip follows, in the pond’s embrace,

Purifying the soul, a serene grace.

Remaining till daylight kisses the sky,

A ritual revered, a tradition so high.

Returning home with the break of day,

New clothes worn, a vibrant display.

 Salutations to parents and elders dear,

A tradition upheld, a legacy clear.

Seniors, too, in new attire,

Gather in a house, fueled by the fire.

 Contributions shared, cakes, dishes in tow,

Bwtwk, chuwarak, a celebratory flow.

Drinks poured, dialogues spun,

 A dance of joy beneath the sun.

 Hangrai’s celebration, a symphony grand,

 In Tripura’s heart, a tale in the sand.

M. Debbarma is Assistant Professor in Department of Geography, MBB College, Agartala.

Meaning of Kokborok words:

Hangrai: Harvest festival of Tripura which is locally called Hangrai. Interestingly, it is known as Pedda Panduga’/’Makara Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh, Makara Sankranti in Karnataka, Telangana, and Maharashtra, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Magh Bihu in Assam, Magha Mela in parts of central and north India, as Makar Sankranti in the west, Makara Sankranti or Shankaranti in Kerala.

Hangrai Nok: a small type of hut prepared by bamboo and thatched by girls and boys to burn early in the morning or before the dawn on Hangrai

Awangs: Rice cakes

Mui: Tripuri curries

Bwtwk: Local Wine made of rice

Chuwarak: Rice Beer

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7 thoughts on ““Hangrai””

  1. The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad
    and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with
    someone!

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