The race took place in a canal named Babur Khal, covering both sides of around two kilometres area to Khejurbari, which were thronged by hundreds of people
A three-day long boat race festival started with great enthusiasm at Kaliganj of Kotalipara upazila on Monday afternoon, with the participation of almost 200 boats from Gopalganj, Madaripur, Pirojpur, Narail and Barisal.
The race took place in a canal named Babur Khal, covering both sides of around two kilometres area to Khejurbari, which were thronged by hundreds of people.
On the second day of the festival, hundreds of locals were seen enjoying the fair held at the colourful boats on the occasion.
The festival will end on Wednesday through a boat race on the occasion of Lakshmi Puja, in the Kaliganj area of the district’s Kotalipara upazila.
Michael Ojha, chairman of Kolabari union, said: "Around 200 years ago, residents of this area used to celebrate Lakshmi Puja in Zamindar Shibram Chowdhuri's house and, on their way back home, they used to arrange a boat race to entertain themselves.Ever since then, it has been a part of our life."
Adv Bijan Biswas, a resident of Kotalipara Upazila, said: “Locals spontaneously take part in this grand race. It has become an unparalleled tradition of this region."
Sheikh Lutfor Rahman, officer-in-charge (OC) of Kotalipara police station, said: "We have deployed additional police to the area to secure the premises so that visitors can enjoy the fair."
Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) SM Mahfuzur Rahman affirmed that the administration would do everything in their power to preserve this age old tradition.