The Assam government has requested UNESCO to declare the historic ‘Junbeel Mela’ a heritage festival and Morigaon district a heritage site.
District Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kumar said on Saturday Chief Secretary Jitesh Khosla had written to UNESCO requesting it to accord special status to the Mela.
Mr. Kumar said the Junbeel Mela was “the rarest of the rarest festivals” where both tribals and non-tribals of Assam and Meghalaya practise a barter system for exchanging agricultural produce in a festive manner at the end of the Assamese Magh Bihu period.
The genealogy of the mela can be traced to the 15th century. It was held on the banks of the Moon-shaped (Jun) ‘beel’ (water body) under the auspices of the Gorbar kingdom.
At the concluding function of the Mela on Saturday, the Gorbha king collected the token royal taxes from 14 of the then kingdoms of Assam in Morigaon, Nagaon and Karbi Anglong districts and parts of Meghalaya. — PTI
Rarest of the
rarest festivals, says official