Music and dance performances by various tribes lightened up the festive atmosphere and amid all the din and bustle the political leaders pledged to maintain peace and unity. This year's theme was "Marching forward in Unity".
Zomi tribes from Myanmar, Mizoram and New Zealand also participated in the event. The tribe can be found in 35 countries. The Zo ethnic group comprises Chin, Kuki, Mizo, Lushai and Kachin, according to the community elders.
Former chief minister and veteran politician Rishang Keishing (96) was the chief guest. He appealed to all the communities co-existing in the state to set aside their narrow interests and join hands for a better Manipur.
Keishing, who served 33 years as legislature and 22 years as MP, expressed dissatisfaction over the internal conflicts that have earned a bad repute for the state.
People should not forget that the hills should be brought on a par with valley in terms of development to maintain peace and harmony in Manipur, Keishing said.
Kuki National Organization (KNO) president P S Haokipw urged the state people to harbour a fellow feeling among themselves. KNO is an umbrella body of 17 Kuki militant groups which are signatories of the Suspension of Operation (Soo) with the government.
"I am pleased to say that the vision of unity is not confined to our people in Manipur, but extends to our fellow Mizo, Chin, Kachin, Konyak, Khimnungan, Zeliangrong, Karbi, Heimi, Para, Makury , Lainao, Naow and Nahen people," Haokip said. "We share a common past, customs, culture and tradition that bind us despite international boundaries that physically separate us," he said.