The Sakrain festival, also known as the kite-flying festival, is actually a festival of colourful kites, fireworks, fire-breathing, paper balloons, food festival and many more. It is also called Poush Shankranti, the end of the Bengali month of Poush.
In continuation of the 400-year tradition, Old Dkaha dwellers have been celebrating Sakrain festival with flying magnificent kites of myriad colours, shapes and sizes, and with the thrill of kite-fighting.
However, this time relatively few Fanush (paper balloons) have been seen flying due to the restrictions of the administration for Covid-19 curbs.
During visits to various areas of Old Dhaka – including Laxmibazar, Tantibazar, Shankhari bazar, Shutrapur, Dholaikhal, Chwakbazar, Bongshal, Dhupkhola, Sadarghat, Farashgnj, Banianagar and Genderia, TBS correspondent saw Old Dhaka dwellers celebrating the festival with much enthusiasm.
Mohammad Alam, Mostafa Zaman, Mehedi and Aashiq – a group of middle-aged men, organised a kite festival in Old Dhaka's Sutrapur area.
Mohammad Alam told TBS, "I have been flying this kite since a very early age. When I was 13 years old, I got electrocuted while flying kites. But I have never missed this festival. "
Arefin Sanju, 40, president of the Sutrapur Kite Flying Festival Committee, told TBS that the celebrations are officially a little less this year as Dhaka South Mayor Taposh has been infected with Covid-19. "We have organised various events with our own money. The city corporation has given us 100 kites each in 75 wards of old Dhaka."
Dilip Nath, who has been selling kites in Shankhari Bazaar for five years, told TBS, "More kites are being sold this year than last year. I have sold 2,000 kites and more than 200 kite runners on Thursday and Friday."
"Half of it was sold by this time last year. Hopefully, this year I will be able to sell a total of 10,000 kites," he added.
Covid-19 has had some influence on this year's festival, which became a universal Dhaka festival in recent years.
"This time, the fundraising is much lower as many families are going through some economic crisis due to Covid pandemic. Otherwise, we could have organised a bigger Sakrain festival this year," said Md Walid Fahim of Tatinbazar area.
Law enforcement agencies have been on high alert in the wake of fires in different parts of the capital from lanterns and fireworks on the 31st night.
However, despite the ban, the organisers had made extensive preparations for this festival in old Dhaka from the very beginning. This year, the occasion will be celebrated in old Dhaka on 14 and 15 January.
Meanwhile, many people from other parts of Dhaka have come to old Dhaka, the hub of Sakrain festival, to share the celebration among them.
For this festival, there was a lot of traffic congestion in the alleys of Old Dhaka even though it was a weekly holiday.
Nusrat Jahan Mishti, a resident of Bashundhara residential area of the capital, has come to Tantibazar.
"I have never seen the Sakrain festival before. I came to my friend's house today after hearing about the festival. I am so happy to see its huge celebrations," she told TBS.