Venue: Surajkund, Faridabad
Surajkund in Haryana is a reservoir built in 10th century. Every year from February 1–15, a colorful traditional craft festival of India is held in the vicinity of Surajkund. This fair was first started in 1987 and 2014 was the twenty-eighth unbroken event. Traditional craftsman (artists, painters, weavers and sculptors) from all parts of the country participate in this annual celebration.
Additionally there are cultural programs and regional food stalls. The fair is held with a different theme every year, mostly focusing on a particular state. The fair is visited by lovers of arts and crafts from all over the world.
This year, the theme state was Goa. To reflect the spirit of Goa, the Mela was given a carnival like ambience with cutouts of colourful flowers, birds, butterflies, streamers etc. used as décor.
In fact, on the first day, there was a long procession featuring traditional dancers of Goa. The procession was lead by a tableau decorated with motifs of quaint sea creatures.
A Sea God, with two babes dressed in shells, singing Goan songs, presided on the tableau.
Additionally, there was significant international participation and we saw stalls from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, South Africa, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and so on. Sri Lanka was the chief foreign participant.
Notwithstanding the extended winter this year, the weather was just right for an outing such as this. Over the years, the fair has shed its puritan craft specific character and has developed a general appeal. Somewhere there is a compromise, but the changed approach has led to swelling visitors whose enthusiasm can not but permeate the mind and uplift the spirit.
This is one end winter ritual that Delhi does not want to miss.