DHAKA, April 15, 2018 (BSS) – The nation yesterday (Saturday) celebrated Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bengali New Year 1425, through organizing traditional programmes of rich Bangali culture renewing a pledge to build a non-communal and prosperous Bangladesh.
The day broke with the chirping of birds as usual, but the singing of “Esho hey Baishakh esho esho” everywhere in Bangladesh gave the day really a festive dimension.
The programmes of the day began at dawn in the city with the musical soiree of Chhayanat, a leading cultural organization of the country at Ramna Batamul, where over 100 of singers performed to welcome Bangla new year leaving behind all odds and sorrows of old year.
Students of Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University (DU) brought out Mongol Shobhajatra (procession of good wishes)’ around 9am in the capital. Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University Mohammad Akhteruzzaman led the procession that paraded different streets in the city.
This year’s theme of Mangal Shobhajatra was “Manush Bhojle Sonar Manush Hobi” , an excerpt from a popular Lalon song, to embrace the path of humanity.
Mangal Shobhajatra is a pride for the Bangalee Nation as the traditional procession on Pahela Baishakh has got the recognition of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
On this occasion, people from all walks of life wore traditional Bengali dresses. Young women wore white sarees with red borders and adorned themselves with bangles, flowers, and tips, while men wore white pyjamas and panjabi or kurta.
On the occasion of Pahele Baishakh, the government organized various programmea. The traditional Mongol Shovajatras were brought out at divisional, district and upazila levels to reach the traditional programme to the grassroots as it earned the international recognition.
However, business communities, especially in the rural areas, opened their traditional ‘Halkhata’, new account books, while sweets were distributed among customers to mark the day.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages greeting the countrymen on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh.
In separate messages, they wished peace, happiness and prosperity of the people and the country in the New Year.
The day was a public holiday.
Different national dailies published colourful supplements while Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar aired special programmes highlighting the significance of Pahela Baishakh.
Bangladesh Shilpokala Academy took a three-day programme to welcome the New Year.
Different government and non-government organizations, socio-cultural platforms including Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Folk Arts and Craft Foundation, Dhaka University, Jatiya Press Club and Dhaka Reporters Unity have organized out various programmes to observe the Pahela Baishakh.
Rabindranath Tagore’s famous drama “Chitrangada” was staged at the Shilpakala Academy yesterday(April 13) and it will be staged today(April 14) on the occasion of the observance of the Bangla Nabobarsho.
On the occasion of Pahela Baishakh, Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigoshthi took various programmes including music, dance and drama. Swapnadal, a theatre group, also took a two-day programme to welcome the Bangla New Year. The programmes included rally, discussion, dance and music.
The city people began the day with the traditional breakfast of ‘panta bhat’ (soaked rice), green chilly, 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 were illuminated with colourful lights and graffiti have been painted in the walls signifying the arts, culture and heritage of the country.
A ten-day Baishakhi Mela began at Bangla Academy in the city on April 14 on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh.
As part of the programmes to celebrate Pahela Baishakh, National Museum organized a cultural function on Bangali culture at the Poet Sufiya Kamal auditorium. Singer Shama Rahman performed at the function.
Ramna Park and Suhrawardi Udyan areas have been taken under complete CCTV surveillance while Police in uniform and in undercover were deployed in and around the function arenas including Ramna Park. Visitors entered the venue through archways and metal detector checking, witnesses said.
According to historical records, celebrations of Pahela Baishakh, started from Emperor Akbar’s reign when it was customary to clear all dues on the last day of the Bengali month of Chaitra with businessmen opening “halkhata” or new book of accounts in their shops.