The centuries-old traditional game 'Hoomguti Khela' -- involving a huge brass ball -- was held in Phulbaria upazila on Monday.
Like every year, on the last day of Bengali month Poush (Tuesday), the game was held at Laxmipur and Dewkhola villages of Phulbaria upazila. People in thousands from adjacent areas flocked at the venue to enjoy the traditional game.
Hundreds of players divided into groups took part in the game, coming from Phulbaria and Sadar, Trishal and Muktagacha upazila this year, organisers said. The game continued for nearly 10 hours.
The players of the game have to reach the 40-kg brass-made ball -- locally called guti -- to its destination, and the group that succeeds is declared winner, organisers said.
Md. Abu Bakar Siddique, president of Hoomguti Smriti Sangsad inaugurated the game at Boroi Atabandha ground, Laxmipur. Beats of drums to encourage the players also enthralled the huge audience.
Chairman of Dewkhola UP, Tajul Islam Bablu said the game was introduced by the then zaminders of Muktagacha dynasty to prove the strength of their subjects. After partition in 1947, this game is being organised by local people, he said.
People of all age groups and professions of the area throng at the venue on the day the game is played and it has been continuing for about two centuries with patronisation of the local people, informed Tajul Islam.
Marking the occasions, the adjacent villages take a festive mood and near and dear ones are invited at every house to enjoy the celebrations.
Korban Ali, 75, of village Balaswar in Phulbaria, said he participated in the game on 50 occasions. Zamir Uddin, 52, another player of the same locality said they do not enjoy any other festival what they get from 'Hoomguti Khela'.
Terming the game as a 'folk fantasy', Prof. Ruhul Amin Khokon of Phulbaria Degree College said, such ancient game free from any sort of injurious ingredients must be patronized to keep it alive from being ruined.