13 Apr 2024, 09:01

Nation set to celebrate Pahela Baishakh tomorrow

DHAKA, April 13, 2024 (BSS) - The country is set to celebrate Pahela
Baishakh, the first day of Bengali New Year-1431, tomorrow upholding the rich
cultural values and rituals of the Bangalees.

A huge number of people are expected to join the "Nabo Barsho" festivities
across the country, particularly in the capital city.

Pahela Baishakh is one of the most colourful festivals through which the
Bangalees bid farewell to the old year and welcome the New Year.

On this occasion, people from all walks of life wear traditional Bengali
dresses. Young women wear white sarees with red borders and adorn themselves
with bangles, flowers and "tips" while men wear white pyjamas and panjabi or

The programmes of the day will begin in the capital with the musical soiree
of Chhayanat, a leading cultural organisation of the country at Ramna Batamul
at dawn.
Traditional Mangal Shobhajatra will be brought out from Dhaka University (DU)
Fine Arts Faculty premises in the morning.

Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private television channels will
live broadcast the programmes.

Mangal Shobhajatra will also be brought out at divisional, district and
upazila levels to reach the traditional programme to the grassroots as it has
earned the international recognition. Mangal Shobhajatra was inscribed on
UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in

Business communities, especially in the rural areas, are ready to open their
traditional 'Halkhata', new account books. On the day, traders also offer
sweets to customers.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will issue
separate messages greeting the countrymen on the eve of the Pahela Baishakh
in the afternoon today.

Different government and non-government organisations, socio-cultural
platforms, including Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bangladesh Shishu
Academy, Bangla Academy, Department of Public Libraries, the National Museum,
Kabi Nazrul Institute, Copyright Office, National Book Centre, Bangladesh
Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), the Department of Archives
and Library and Dhaka University will hold various programmes along with
seminars, exhibitions and quiz, essay and art competitions marking the

Besides, local administration will organize quiz competitions, cultural
programmes and folk fairs.

The city people usually start the day with the traditional breakfast of
'panta bhat' (soaked rice), green chili, onion and fried fish at Ramna Park,
Suhrawardy Uddyan, Dhaka University Campus, Rabindra Sarobor at Dhanmondi and
other amusement places.
On the occasion, all museum and archaeological sites will remain open for all
while children, students, people with disabilities and autism will be allowed
to visit the museum free of cost.

On the occasion, improved traditional food will be distributed to jail
inmates, patients in hospitals and orphanages.

Bangladesh missions abroad will also organise different programmes to welcome
the Bengali New Year.

The law enforcement agencies will take extensive security measures across the
country so that people could celebrate the day.

The day is a public holiday.

Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and other private TV and radio
channels will air special programmes highlighting the significance of Pahela

Some historians attribute the Bengali calendar to the seventh century King
Shashanka, which was later modified by Mughal Emperor Akbar for the purpose
of tax collection.

During the Mughal rule, land taxes were collected from Bengali people
according to the Islamic Hijri calendar. This calendar was a lunar calendar,
and its new year did not coincide with the solar agricultural cycles.

Akbar asked the royal astronomer Fathullah Shirazi to create a new calendar
by combining the lunar Islamic calendar and solar Hindu calendar already in
use, and this was known as Fasholi shan (harvest calendar).

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