Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fascinating Padi Festival at Kedah

TRADITION came alive during the two-day Kedah Padi Festival held on the muddy padi fields at the foothills of Gunung Keriang.

The weekend event, held in con-junction with the 79th birthday ce-lebration of Kedah Sultan Tuanku Abdul Halim Muad’zam Shah, attrac-ted thousands of people.

The festival was earlier declared open by the Sultan who was accom-panied by the Sultanah, Tuanku Haminah Hamidun.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the festival was held to showcase Kedah as the rice bowl of the country. It also gave tourists a glimpse of the traditional methods and tools used in the olden days to produce rice.

Traditional technique:Participants taking part in a fish catching competition using bamboo traps.
“Last year, we recorded 3.8 mil-lion tourists to Kedah, with over 2 million tourists visiting Langkawi. We want to promote the mainland as the premier destination for tou-rists in Visit Kedah Year 2008.

“A total RM7mil will be spent to develop a 12ha tourist village with traditional houses to accommodate tourists,” he added.

The festival got off to a colourful start with traditional, cultural and folk dances performed by the State Cultural Troupe.

Interesting events included an anok race (anok refers to a cart used to transport padi from the fields), trapping fish using a bamboo cage, a padi pounding demonstration and duck catching competition.

Briton Derek Brittain, 68, who had visited the country 12 times, said it was his first time at a padi festival and he found it fascinating. He had previously witnessed the Thaipusam festival and chingay performances.

Source : STAR
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