BERHAMPUR: The efforts to promote and market traditional toys took the form of Kandhei Jatra, which is celebrated with enthusiasm every year at Khaspa street area here. The two-day festival ended on Saturday night with as many as 60 shops selling traditional toys made of clay, cow dung, paper mache, coir and wood.
The fair is held every year in the month of Sravan. As per the locals, it is more than three centuries old and related to the oldest Jagannath temple in the street.
During the festival, the pedestal of idol of Lord Jagannath at this temple is also decorated with earthen toys of mythical characters. The fair is held a week after the Rath Yatra.
Sources said another aim behind the festival is to promote traditional craftsmen of the area. Earlier, the festival was held for three days and things for domestic use made of clay, wood or metal were also put up for sale.
This time, traditional toy-makers from the city, rural areas of Ganjam district as well as from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh had put up stalls. Like a village fair, they built makeshift shops on both sides of the Khaspa street.
A local cultural organisation, Ama Sanskruti Ama Parampara, was formed last year to enliven this unique tradition. It organised night-long traditional cultural programmes to entertain the crowd at the fair.