ISLAMABAD    -   National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) has planned to hold annual folk festival “Lok Mela” from November 6 to 15.

According to an official announcement, Lok Virsa annual mega event is scheduled from November 6 to 15 at Lok Virsa Complex, Garden Avenue, Shakarparian, Islamabad.   The inaugural ceremony of the 10-day event will be held on November 6 which is expected to be graced by Federal Minister for Education, Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood.

The main features will include provincial cultural pavilions from all provinces, GB, AJK including an international pavilion, artisans at work, folk songs and dance performances, exotic craft bazaar, cultural nights, folkloric performances, food courts, and many other activities. As per tradition, the festival will formally open with a chadarposhi/dastarbandi ceremony, which is a way of proclaiming Lok Virsa’s commitment to the high stature that craftspeople and folk artists have in the cultural mainstream.

This year, one established master crafts woman and one male folk artist/ musician will be honoured with chaddarposhi and dastarbandi by the chief guest.

Culture departments of all provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir, and diplomatic community have been invited to set up pavilions presenting their indigenous folk culture, artisans, folk artists and traditional cuisine as link nodes of the festival‘s foundation grid. Special attractions featuring folk singers, folk entertainers and other entertaining shows will be organised throughout the festival period duration.  Display of traditional folk dances from all over Pakistan will be held in the open air theatre at intervals.  Folk entertainers and rural musicians are invited from all over the country to participate in the festival. An exotic craft bazaar with score of tastefully decorated pavilions offering a variety of knick-knacks souvenirs, antiques, craft items, gems and jewellery, and cultural materials will also be set up erected.

Each province, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir will hold its cultural night during Lok Mela in which eminent folk artists and folk performers hailing from the respective province/ region will perform live in a concert. Traditional mouth-watering Pakistani cuisines will be arranged at the venue of the festival. The festival will culminate with a colourful award ceremony which is scheduled to take place on the last day November 15 in which cash awards will be distributed among the most talented and deserving artisans on the recommendations.