The 13th Jatiya Pitha Utsab kicked off on Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy premises on Sunday.
The festival, which has been jointly organised by Jatiya Pitha Utsab Udjapan Parishad and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, is featuring more than 200 different types of traditional pithas (cakes) at over 50 stalls.
State minister for cultural affairs KM Khalid was present as chief guest at the inaugural ceremony, presided over by director general of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and convenor of the festival Liaquat Ali Lucky.
Thespian and Awami League advisory council member Ataur Rahman, thespian Ramendu Majumdar and eminent dance artiste Minu Haque were present as special guests.
Jatiya Pitha Utsab Udjapan Parishad president and freedom fighter M Hamid delivered the keynote speech and member secretary of Jatiya Pitha Utsab Udjapan Parishad Khandakar Sah Alom delivered the welcome speech.
‘Pithas are integral part of our tradition and culture. Such festivals provide an important platform to promote traditional pithas among the future generations. I thank the organisers for arranging the festival,’ said KM Khalid.
Artistes entertained the audience presenting songs, poems and dance recitals.
Dance artistes of Spandan and Bangladesh Academy of Fine Arts staged colourful group dance recitals synchronised with folk songs, while renowned recitation artistes Shumi Akter and Siddiqur Rahman recited poems.
Singers namely Ataur Rahman Pran, Neha Sultana Mitu, Nasrin Mitul, Pushpita and others rendered popular folk songs to the delight of the audience.
The festival drew a large crowd on the opening day. People from all walks of life thronged the venue to enjoy delicious pithas.
The festival features various types of pithas namely Patisapta, Bhapa, Pakan, Chitai, Malpoya, Malai, Pata, Rosh Phul, Bhajapuri, Bou, Kola, Rosh Golap, Ilish Pitha, Jhinuk Pitha, Hridoy Haran, Jamai Pagal and others along with a number of experimental dishes.
‘I am trying to collect recipes of pithas like Chicken Poya, Bhajapuri, Ilish Pitha and others. I want to prepare these experimental pithas at home,’ Tania Akter, a visitor at the festival, told New Age.
Pitha makers from across the country are participating in the festival.
Hamid Ahmed is the owner of Monpura Barishal Pitha Stall, which offers visitors pithas that are popular in Barishal division.
‘We are offering different traditional pithas along with experimental dishes. We mixed new ingredients with traditional pithas and tried different baking methods to create the new dishes,’ said Hamid Ahmed.
Sumon Hawlader is the owner of Gopalganj Pitha Stall, which is offering over 60 different types of pithas.
‘We are displaying more than 60 different types of traditional pithas. We are also displaying dishes like Kushum Koli, Jhalpoya and others. I invite all to visit our stall,’ said Sumon Hawlader.
The festival will remain open for all from 3:00pm to 9:00pm till March 3.
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