The two-hour inaugural function ended after another firework at the South Plaza of the Jatiya Sangsad.

Fireworks were also arranged and lantern (fanush) were released across the country including in front of Bangabandhu Bhaban, AL Bangabandhu Avenue central office, Rabindra Sarobar, Hatirjheel and Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) on Dhaka University campus.

Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader inaugurated the fireworks at Rabindra Sarabor by releasing lantern (fanus). AL central leaders were present on the occasion.

Central 14-party leaders and workers observed a lamp lighting programme on the premises of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban at 8pm and they marched towards Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi 32 to pay tributes to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his portrait.

Under the original plan, the celebration was set to be opened drawing thousands of people at the National Parade Ground today.

However, the global coronavirus pandemic forced them to limit the inauguration fanfare revising the schedule trying to keep most of the programmes indoors to discard public gatherings.

A scheduled gathering of children at Tungipara and in primary schools across Bangladesh today were also scrapped due to COVID-19.

The countdown for Mujib Year began on January 10 last coinciding with Bangabandhu’s Homecoming Day in 1972, after nine months of captivity in Pakistan.

On March 17, one hundred years ago, Bangabandhu was born in a respected family at Tungipara village of the then Gopalganj sub-division, now district, as the third among six children of Sheikh Lutfur Rahman and Saira Khatun.

The history had set his course to be the architect of independent Bangladesh and the greatest Bangalee of all times after protracted struggle and personal sacrifices.

The government declared the period from March 17, 2020 to March 26, 2021 as the ‘Mujib Year’ marking the birth centenary of Bangabandhu. Along with Bangladesh, the ‘Mujib Year’ is being celebrated globally with the initiative of UNESCO.

The day is a public holiday in Bangladesh and it also observed as National Children’s Day.

Sheikh Hasina, Bangabandhu’s elder daughter, also placed wreaths at Bangabandhu’s portrait at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road No 32 in the capital this morning ahead of travelling to Tungipara.

Different socio-cultural and political organisations from grassroots to national levels, ministries and divisions drew up programmes to celebrate the birth centenary opening.

President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also paid their homage by placing wreaths at the mazar (mausoleum) of Bangabandhu at Tungipara in Gopalganj.

After placing the wreaths, they stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memory of the Father of the Nation while the bugle played the last post.

Abdul Hamid and Sheikh Hasina offered Fateha and joined a munajat seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of Bangabandhu as well as other martyrs of the August 15 carnage.

Sheikh Rehana, the younger daughter of Bangabandhu, PM’s daughter Saima Wazed Hossain, Sheikh Rehana’s son Radwan Mujib Siddiq Bobby and his wife Peppi Siddiq were present on the occasion.

Besides, a delegation of the party’s central working committee led by AL President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid homage to Bangabandhu by placing a wreath at his mazar (shrine).

Special prayers were arranged at all religious institutions across the country while orphans and destitute people were served special foods.

Under the initiative of Dhaka City North AL, orphans and destitute people were given foods and sweets on the premises of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque and Banani Korail slum. Identical programmes were held across the country.

Marking the ‘Mujib Year’, Bangladesh Bank (BB) issued regular currency notes and commemorative notes of Taka 200 on Wednesday.

Besides, the central bank also issued Taka 100 denomination commemorative gold and silver coins and Taka 100 commemorative notes from the day.

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry has taken an initiative to plant around one crore saplings across the country.