DHAKA, April 14, 2017 (BSS) – The nation is set to celebrate Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bengali New Year-1424, in a large-scale this year with much enthusiasm and traditional gaiety as the Mangol Shovajatra earned UNESCO recognition as world heritage.
The government has drawn up elaborate programme while traditional Mangol Shovajarta, a procession which is brought out welcoming the advent of Bengali New year, will be staged at divisional, district and upazila levels to reach the traditional programme to grassroots as it earned the international recognition.
Different socio-cultural organizations and educational institutions, associations of professionals have also taken elaborate programmes including cultural functions, processions and Baishakhi fairs in the capital as elsewhere across the country.
However, business communities, especially in the rural areas are ready to open their traditional ‘Halkhata’, new account books, while sweets will be distributed among customers to mark the day.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages greeting the countrymen on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh.
They wished the Bangla Nababarsha-1424 will bring happiness, peace and prosperity for the country removing all darkness and sorrows.
The day is a public holiday.
Different national dailies will publish colourful supplements while Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar will air special programmes highlighting the significance of Pahela Baishakh.
The programmes of the day will begin in the city with the musical soiree of Chhayanat, a leading cultural organization of the country at Ramna Batamul at dawn. Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private television channels will broadcast the live streaming of the programme.
City people will start the day with the traditional breakfast of ‘panta bhat’ (soaked rice), green chillies, onion and fried fish at Ramna Park, Suhrawardy Uddyan, Dhaka University Campus, Rabindra Sarobor at Dhanmondi and other amusement places.
Important buildings and establishments as well as city streets and islands have been illuminated with colourful lights and graffiti have been painted in the walls signifying the arts, culture and heritage of the country.
Dhaka University (DU) Fine Arts Faculty is ready to celebrate the Pahela Baishakh while the Mangol Shovajatra bearing few significant motifs those were used in the 28 years since its inception in 1989 will be brought out from its premises at 9 am on the campus with a call for unity and non-communalism.
DU Vice-Chancellor Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique will lead the procession.
The Mangol Sovajatra has become a major part of the celebration in the country since its beginning by the teachers and students of Fine Arts Faculty.
“We have planned to bring out the procession in a large scale as the Mangol Shovajatra earned the UNESCO recognition,” Fine Arts Faculty Dean Professor Nisar Hossain told BSS.
He said this year’s theme of the procession is “Anandaloke Mangalaloke Biraja Satya Sundara”, selected from a line of poet Rabindranath Tagore’s song.
It will signify the country’s achievement and progress side by side the international recognition of Mangal Sovajatra, the Dean said.
Nisar Hossain said the procession will uphold the country’s folklore, culture and heritage like the previous year while important motifs of 28 years of the Mangal Sovajatra celebration of the faculty will comprise the procession.
“A motif of black elephant will be in the procession as it was used in the first Mangal Sovajtra in 1989 symbolizing the regime of the then military rule,” he said.
Besides, he said, the procession will have motifs of water-vassal symbolizing the winning of maritime boundary of the country, war criminals and militancy.
“Signifying the theme and the country’s current context, motif of “Sun” will be the main one. Sun has light in a side while dark in another direction. Likewise, the motif will have smiling fade in a direction and ugly shape in other direction,” he said.
He said “smiling face” will signify the country’s progress and growth and the journey towards becoming a middle income country, on the other hand, the “ugly face” will symbolize emergence of militancy.
“But, the motif will mean that the country will be enlightened removing all darkness,” Nisar Hossain said.
Besides, different departments, institutes and students’ organizations and associations will also organize different programmes on the campus.
The university authorities have put restriction on wearing of masks, carrying bags on the campus while all programmes of the day on the university campus must be concluded by 5pm.
Sammilita Sangskritik Jote will organise solo and chorus folk music, dance and recitation of poems at Mirpur, Dania, Rayerbazar and different places in the capital city at 4pm.
Bangla Academy will stage cultural function and solo lecture at Rabindra-Chattar on the premises of the academy at 7.30am while a 10-day book-fair titled “Boier Arang” will begin today marking the festival.
Besides, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation and Bangla Academy will organize a 10-day Baishakhi Fair on the academy premises from today. Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu will inaugurate the fair at 4pm today.
Dhakeswai National Temple also organize fair while Jatiya Press Club will arrange a variety of traditional food items for the members and their family on the club premises. Dhaka Reporters’ Unity also arrange identical programme.
Foolproof security measures have been taken across the country to avert any untoward incident during the celebration while Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) will deploy special team in the capital to tackle eve-teasing on Pahela Baishakh.
Ramna Park and Suhrawardi Udyan areas have been taken under complete CCTV surveillance while Police in uniform and in undercover will be deployed in and around the function arenas including Ramna Park. Visitors will have to enter the venue through archways and metal detector checking, DMP commissioner Md Asaduzzaman Miah said.
Watchtowers have been installed in all the important places to monitor the movement of people while DMP will supply pure drinking water to citizens and organize blood donation camp.
The DMP commissioner urged the citizens not to bring or carry any kinds of bag, bundle, musk, umbrella, arms and knives at the venues of the function or during the Mangal Shovajatra.
The local administrations will arrange procession, cultural functions, village fairs and discussions at the divisional, district and upazilla levels.
Improved diets of Banglee food will be distributed among the inmates of jails, hospitals and orphanages in the country.
Cultural functions will be held at jails and orphanages.
Bangladesh National Museum, Bangladesh Folk and Craft Arts Foundation, and archaeological sites under Department of Archaeology will remain open and children, students and persons with disabilities would be allowed to visit free of cost.
All educational institutions of the country including Rajshahi, Chittagong and Jahangirnagar universities will celebrate the day separately with enthusiasm and traditional gaiety.