Residents of Siliguri in West Bengal, a city nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas and considered to be the gateway to the northeast, are all set to let their hair down come Dec 15 in the first Siliguri Carnival, sources said.
Home to diverse ethnic communities, it will host a week-long socio-cultural extravaganza where "various aspects of heritage, composite culture, literary values, sports, tourism, scientific excellence" will be celebrated through a variety of events, according to the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC).
Located near the districts of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri, it is one of the main commercial, tourism, transportation, and educational centres of north Bengal.
It is also the transit point to the neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh.
A post on the official page of the festival said: "Greetings from Siliguri Municipal Corporation!"
The carnival’s theme is "Siliguri: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" while the mascot is a cuddly leopard cub. Officials are seeking suggestions from the citizens for a suitable name.
As per the schedule, a massive rally has been planned to kick-start the event Dec 15. Citizens belonging to different ethnic groups will walk in the rally in their traditional attire.
Each day has been demarcated for specific activities centred around a message. While day 1 is "Clean and Green Siliguri", the rest of the week would witness "Safe Driving Day", "Save Water Day", "Senior Citizens Day", "Womanhood Day", "Special Children Day" and the concluding "Siliguri Day".
In addition, an astronomy exhibition by the Sky Watchers Association of North Bengal will offer a glimpse into astronomy images clicked from Siliguri.
Singer Kunal Ganjawala is slated to perform with artists from Bengal at the city’s Kanchenjunga Stadium on the final day of the carnival.
(With inputs from IANS)