Chandigarh: The fortnight-long annual Surajkund International Crafts Mela will begin on February 1, with Chattisgarh as its theme state and Lebanon, the partner nation, a senior official said on Thursday.
The fair showcases the richness and diversity of the handicrafts, handlooms and cultural heritage of India.
Chhattisgarh has been chosen as the theme state for the 29th edition of the fair while Lebanon will be the partner nation for the fortnight-long event, Managing Director, Haryana Tourism Corporation, Sumita Misra said here.
Craftspersons, cultural troupes and master chefs from the nation will present their talent and skills to enthral the visitors at the fair, she said.
According to Misra, about 20 countries have already confirmed their participation in the event.
She said the annual event provides a rare opportunity to the theme state to showcase its handicrafts, handlooms, performing arts, cuisine and tourist potential to a cross-section of people.
Chhattisgarh will showcase its tribal heritage and culture, which is still found well-preserved in the forests of Bastar.
Also, an ethnic ambiance representing the state's rural ethos will be created on the Mela grounds.
"The idea of hosting the Mela is to recreate a pristine rural ambiance for foreign and domestic tourists, tell the patrons of arts and crafts about the skills involved in creative arts, to introduce craftspersons directly to the buyers, and to identify, nurture and preserve the languishing crafts of the country," Misra said.
The fair is jointly hosted by Haryana Tourism Corporation and Surajkund Mela Authority in collaboration with the Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs.
This festival has come to occupy a place of pride and prominence, attracting more than a million domestic and foreign visitors during the Mela, she said.
According to Misra, the fair has grown in stature and it attained an international status in 2013 and is now attracting more foreign participation.
Every year, a country is also chosen to be the partner nation that showcases the best of its art, culture, traditions and heritage.