The traditional Sangrai festival of the indigenous people began in Bandarban yesterday. The festival will continue for four days.
On the first day of the festival, a colourful procession was brought from old Rajbari premises in the town. People of different ages joined the procession that paraded the main streets.
A number of tourists from home and abroad have already reached Bandarban to enjoy the century-old festival.
Different organisations of the indigenous people have taken up programmes to celebrate Sangrai. The programmes include 'Shakree Puja', 'Rilong Bwoi' (splashing each other with water), discussions, traditional games, cultural programmes, painting competition and pitha utsab.
Bandarban Utsab Udjapon Parishad President, Aung Chaw Mong said the two-day programme on splashing each other with water will start on April 15.
Sangrai festival is celebrated in Bandarban through different programmes to welcome the first day of Bangla New Year and say goodbye to the outgoing year.
Though most of the 11 ethnic groups living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts celebrate Bangla New Year, Marma, Chakma, Tangchangya, Mro, Chak, Khumi, and Tripura of the district celebrate their own festivals.
In the Tripura community, the New Year's festival is known as "Baisuk". Marma and Chak call it "Sangrai”, Mros call it "Changkran”, Khumi calls it "Chankrai", and Chakmas and Tangchangya call it "Bijhu" and “Bishu”.