The indigenous people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts will celebrate their ‘Baisabi’ festival this year on Tuesday, beginning with ‘Phool Bijhu’, UNB reports. Phool Bijhu, celebrated by the Chakma population, marks the last day before their new year, which coincides with the Tripura community’s Boisu and the Marma community’s Sangrai festival.
Baisabi is a collective term derived from the trio – Boi, Sa and Bi. Boisu festival is marked by the ‘Garaia’ dance by Tripura community whereas the Sangrai festival is famous for its ‘pani khela’, or water festival. This year a voluntary two-day holiday has been declared by the government, the day before and after Pahela Boishakh, for the minority people, so that they can celebrate it to the fullest.
Traditional games have already begun in the town’s Shohortoli area, as well as in the villages of Pankhaiyapara, Shaatbhaiyapara and elsewhere. The district’s Hill Tracts Council has organised a series of rallies, commemoration of reputed people, cultural functions and lots more to mark the occasion.
Khagrachhari Ethnic Minority Cultural Institute began its activities on Thursday along with other cultural groups. Kongjori Chowdhury, chairman of Khagrachhari Hill Tracts Council, said every effort will be taken to make this year’s Baisabi festival a success.
Kujendra Lal Tripura, the local MP, said the government is committed to ensuring that Baisabi festival this year is accessible to all.