Darjeeling Orange Festival: A citrusy celebration to revive hill orange industry

Darjeeling Orange Festival
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The quaint hamlets of Mungpoo and Sittong in Darjeeling hills are bursting with citrusy cheer as the second edition of the two-day Darjeeling Orange Festival paints the towns with vibrant hues of orange.

This annual event, hosted by the West Bengal state food processing and horticulture department, has been started to revive the region’s iconic mandarin oranges, known for their unique sweetness and delicate aroma. The festival aims to boost the market for hill oranges and increase the production of this winter fruit.

Building on the success of last year’s inaugural festival, the second edition promises an even bigger and better experience. With a series of events drawing in enthusiastic crowds to Darjeeling, the festival caters to every palate and interest.

Darjeeling Orange Festival serves as a driving force for the recovery of Darjeeling’s mandarin orange industry, which has encountered difficulties in recent times. The production of the hill oranges which was once considered as the most economically viable products of the hills, has decreased over the years due to various factors, such as pest attacks. Darjeeling mandarins have been highly sought after fruits across India and Bangladesh.

Darjeeling Orange Festival is not just about the fruit itself. It’s a celebration of the rich cultural heritage and traditions intertwined with orange cultivation in the region. Visitors can attend workshops on organic farming practices, participate in traditional folk dances, and learn about the history of orange trade in Darjeeling.

Mungpoo and Sittong offer a picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of Darjeeling town. Nestled amidst rolling hills and lush tea gardens, these hamlets provide a perfect backdrop for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. The second and last day of the festival would be held in Sittong, known as the orange village of Darjeeling.

By promoting sustainable farming practices, connecting farmers with consumers, and celebrating the unique flavor of Darjeeling oranges, the festival hopes to revitalize the local economy and secure a bright future for this treasured fruit.

The state food processing and horticulture department has collaborated with the directorate of cinchona and other medicinal plants, operating under the department, to conduct a survey and identify orange plants that yield more.

Also read: Dambuk Orange Festival: Celebrating Music, Adventure, and Culture

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