DHAKA: The people of Bangladesh have celebrated the “Pahela Baishakh”, Bengali New Year 1426, amid much enthusiasm and traditional gaiety on Sunday (April 14).
Different socio-cultural organizations and government institutions are organizing different programs including musical functions, colorful marches and street side Baishakhi fairs in the city as elsewhere across the country.
Chhayanat Sangeet Vidyatan, a leading institutions of Bengali culture, has welcomed the new year playing Sitar and with the slogan “Good sense come out to fight evil things” at Ramna Batamul in city.
Chhayanat artistes has opened the function with Rabindranath Tagore’s famous song—‘Eso He Baishakh Eso Eso’, welcoming Baishakh. Noted artistes will also render solo and chorus songs at the function that will continue till dusk.
A tight security measures have been taken in the area to smooth the programs. Law enforcers said they would remain in an alert position to thwart any untoward situation.
The business communities especially in the rural areas are ready with their traditional ‘Halkhata’, new account books to welcome the Bengali New year.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages greeting the countrymen on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh.
The day is a public holiday.
Different national dailies and online news-portals will publish supplements while Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar and other private TV channels will air special programs on the occasion.
City dwellers have started the day with the traditional breakfast of ‘panta bhat’ (soaked rice), green chillies, and onion at Ramna Park, Suhrawardy Udyan, Dhaka University (DU) campus, Rabindra Sarobor in Dhanmondi and other amusement places.
The Institute of Fine Arts of DU has brought out a colorful procession from campus with decorative replicas of animals as well as elements of Bengali culture.
According to historical records, celebrations of Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla calendar year, started from Emperor Akbar’s reign when it was customary to clear up all dues on the last day of the Bengali month of Chaitra with businessmen opening ‘halkhata’ or new book of accounts in their shops.
On the next day, or the first day of the New Year, landlords used to entertain their tenants with sweets. Village fairs and related festivities were other visible features of the day.
In course of time, the occasion became part of domestic and social life, and turned into a day of merriment with distribution of homemade special foods among the guests as well as near and dear ones.
Various agricultural products, traditional handicrafts, toys, cosmetics, as well as different food and sweet items are sold in the Baishakhi fairs.
These fairs also provide entertainment, with singers and dancers staging jatra (traditional plays), pala gan, kobigan, jarigan and gambhira gan. They present folk songs as well as Baul, marfati, murshidi and bhatiali songs.
BDST: 0955 HRS, APR 14, 2019