The traditional Poradaha fair has been held at Gabtali in Bogura amid the risk of Coronavirus infection. Around the fair, which is famous for its fish and sweets, a festival of hospitality and rejoicing is going on in half a hundred villages. To be present at this traditional fair with all the family members has become a custom in the region.
Around the one-day fair, the festival is in full swing in 4 surrounding upazilas including Gabtali upazila. Millions of people used to walk in the Poradaha fair from different places throughout the day. In all, crores of Tk have been traded. Meanwhile, due to a letter from the Wildlife Crime Suppression Unit, the traditional Baghai fish was not sold at the fair this year. The fair is going on despite the order to close it as there is no permission of the administration for the fair due to the risk of spreading of Covid-19 infection.
It is learned that Poradaha fair is held on the last Wednesday of the month of Magh (late winter) every year on the occasion of Sannyasi (monk) Puja on the banks of Ichhamati in Gabtali. This tradition, which has been going on for more than 200 years, is no exception this time. People of all ages including children, teenagers, men and women are attending this fair.
Around lakhs of people from the surrounding districts including different upazilas of the district come to this day-long fair. The day-long fair ends with trading of huge fish and big sweets. Although there is a huge sale of Baghair fish every year, the wildlife crime control unit did not allow the sale of Baghair fish as it sent a letter to the concerned people to stop displaying and selling this endangered fish. However, Katla weighing 28 kg was sold at Tk 1300 per kg, Rui 9 kg at Tk 900 per kg and Grasscarp weighing 20 kg at Tk 850 per kg. Besides, other fish including Barmatha, boal, ganchital have been sold at a minimum price of Tk 300 to Tk 2200 per kg.
One of the attractions of the fair is the big sweets. This time sweets weighing 12 kg were sold at Tk 500 per kg. There were more than 200 shops selling sweets of different sizes including fish shaped sweets. In addition to sports items for children, the fair also has a variety of food stalls. There are also grocery stores as well as grocery stores.
Fish traders Badsha, Montu and other traders said that due to Coronavirus, the import of fish is a little less this time, but they have collected big fish from different areas for the fair. The traders said that fish is sold well in the fair.
Sweet traders Manjurul Haque Bhutto and Morshedul Alam said they had made large-scale sweets on the occasion of the fair. Fish-shaped sweets weighing 1 kg to 12 kg have been sold at Rs 300 to Rs 500 per kg. Rafiqul Islam, who came from Gaibandha, said that he came here to buy fish.
Meanwhile, locals said that 300 fish shops, more than 200 sweet shops and about a thousand other shops were sold at the fair. The order to close the fair was not implemented due to lack of permission from the administration. Bogura Additional District Executive Magistrate Salahuddin Ahmed visited the fair at around 11am and directed to close the fair. However, it is known that the fair was going on till 3 pm.
Meanwhile, Abdul Majeed Mandal, the organizer of the fair and chairman of Mahishaban UP in Gabtali, said that the fair was traditional and locals flocked to the festival. The fair is held every year. The organizers of the fair claimed that the fair is being conducted in compliance with the health rules.