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Cultural melange at Mayurbhanj Utsav

- Three-day fest to showcase handicraft works as well as traditional martial dance forms

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 2: The third edition of the much-awaited Mayurbhanj Utsav, a grand celebration and get-together of non-resident Mayurbhanj district members in the city, will be unveiled at Janata Maidan from January 4 to 6.

With the district’s magnificent Kichakeswari temple of Khiching in the backdrop, the festival will also showcase art and culture of the region.

Performing arts of Mayurbhanj such as martial dance, chhau, traditional songs and dance of the region such as jhumar and tribal dance dhanger will feature in the programme.

Apart from the attractive stage performances, handicrafts such as stone carvings, dokra and lacquer art of the district will also be displayed at a craft exhibition, said Sananda Marandi, president of Mayurbhanj Cultural Association (MCA) and deputy Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly.

The Utsav will also showcase other cuisine and culinary delights of Mayurbhanj, the most famous being the delectable mudhi and mansa for the non-vegetarians and dala khechidi and ram ruchuka for the vegetarians.

Special offerings for deities such as arisha — the rice-based pancakes made from pure ghee — at the Jagannath temple of Baripada will also be available.

Members of the MCA announced the festival in the capital today. Though the association, established in 1978, had celebrated the annual event in the past too, it was confined to a get-together only. Since 2011, the event took shape of an annual festival in the city with huge attendance owing to participation and performances by film, television and stage artistes of Odisha’s film industry.

Baripada, the headquarters of Mayurbhanj district, is the home of Odia superstars such as Uttam Mohanty, Aparajita, Bijay Mohanty and many others.

Tussar textile products, pressed plates made from sal leaves, sabai grass products and forest produces such as medicinal plants, medicines and honey will also be exhibited at the event said general secretary of the association Gokul Chandra Das.

“We invite people from all over the state to take part and enjoy at the Mayurbhanj Utsav,” he added.

Noted playwright and cultural activist Chinmay Das Patnaik, a senior member of MCA, said: “Tribal and jhumar artistes will be coming from various parts of Mayurbhanj including Jashipur, Karanjia and Rairangpur. Famous film personalities such as Uttam Mohanty, Bijay Mohanty, Ajit Das, Tatwaprakash Satapathy (Pappu Pom Pom), Babushan and Santanu Mohapatra will attend the three-day event.’’