Government Policy

Bengalees celebrate Pahela Baishakh with pomp and gaiety

After two years of muted celebrations due to the pandemic, Bengalees are observing Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla calendar, with gaiety and pomp.

The festivities began early on Thursday morning, with artistes from Chhayanaut welcoming the day with Tagore’s famous song ‘Esho hey Baishakh, esho, esho (Come O Baishakh, Come)’ under the banyan tree at Ramna Park.

People from all walks of life thronged different popular and historic spots in the capital and elsewhere across the country to welcome the Bangla New Year, 1429, with new hopes and aspirations for a better, peaceful year.

However, as Pahela Baishakh is being celebrated during the holy month of Ramadan, the festivities have been scaled down.

Students of the Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka University brought out a Mangal Shobhajatra (procession of good wishes) in the Sarak Deep area in the morning.

The flagship procession was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2016.

Meanwhile, tight security measures have been put in place by Dhaka Metropolitan Police to ensure smooth celebrations of Pahela Baishakh.

This year, the programmes for celebrating Pahela Baishakh must end by 2pm and setting up of food stalls will not be allowed on Ramna fair premises due to Ramadan, the police have already made it clear.

Meanwhile, business people, especially in the rural areas, opened their traditional new books of accounts, ‘Halkhata’, and offered sweets to customers.

The celebrations of Pahela Baishakh have become an integral part of Bangalees since it began over six centuries back.

Mughal Emperor Akbar introduced the Bangla calendar in the year 1556 of the Gregorian calendar in a bid to streamline the timing of land tax collection in the then ‘Subah Bangla’ region, much of which falls under Bangladesh.

The day is a public holiday.

On the occasion, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages, greeting the country’s people and all Bangla-speaking people across the globe.

All TV channels aired special programmes on the occasion.

Source: United News of Bangladesh