CHT radiates joy as Sangrai festivities begin

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News Desk

Sangrai water festival, one of the biggest traditional festivals of Marma ethnic group, has been celebrated in Kaptai of Rangamati and in the Marma community of Bandarban with the presence of thousands of young men and women.

The Marma community living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts celebrated the Sangrai water festival or Sangrai Ri-lang-poe festival to welcome the new year and bid farewell to the old year.

The festival 2024 was organized by the Sangrai water festival celebration committee of the hundred-year-old traditional Chinmorom Buddha Bihar of Kaptai Upazila on the grounds of the bihar at 10:30am on Monday.

Marking the day, traditional sports, cultural programs, Sangrani rallies, discussion meetings, and water festival are held on this occasion.

During this time, thousands of people came from different upazilas of Chittagong, including the Chittagong Hill Tracts, regardless of caste and religion.

Young boys and girls decorated in traditional colourful dresses took part in the festival and threw water at each other.

Dipankar Talukder, president of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment, Forests and Climate Change and MP from Rangamati spoke as the chief guest at the discussion meeting at 10:30am on the occasion of Sangrai festival in the field adjacent to Bihar.

He said: “Bonding is developed in various festivals between different communities; this is the main part of our culture. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has always said that this country is a country of non-communal spirit. She always provides financial support in the events of every community.”

The attended guests inaugurated the water festival in the field adjacent to the Bihar.

Originally, the main Sangrai festival is celebrated on April 15, but the Boisakhi fair is arranged in Chinmorom area from April 13.

Marginal traders arranged their stalls in the fields adjacent to Bihar with different varieties of goods.

Meanwhile, another Sangrai water festival will be held on Tuesday morning at the Rangamati Mari Stadium under the auspices of the Marma cultural organization (Masas).

At the same time, participation in the water festival saw Marma youths gathering in groups from the afternoon, congregating at the designated stage.

The air was filled with the sounds of Marma music, echoing joyously as children and adults alike sang and danced with abandon.

Amidst the festivities, a young man playfully sprinkled water on a young woman, who returned the gesture by splashing water back at him, adding to the jovial atmosphere.

Bir Bahadur Usha Singh MP, president of the Standing Committee of the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs, ceremonially inaugurated the festival at Raja Maidan in the Bandarban district town on Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, thousands of Pahari-Bengali friends revealed in the refreshing rain, adding to the festive ambiance.

As evening descended, various artist groups of Marma tribals captivated the festival grounds with their performances.

Later in the evening, the tradition of making various types of pitha-puli commenced, with tribal households opening their doors to neighbours, where they gathered in pandals to craft these traditional delicacies together.

Welcoming the new year and bidding farewell to the old, the Marmas of the hill tribal villages joyously embraced the role of Matwaras, celebrating the Sangrai festival with fervour.

While the festivities concluded at midnight on Tuesday in the district town of Bandarban, the Sangrai ceremony marking the Marma New Year will continue until April 17 in the upazilas of the district.

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