“Pahela Baishakh” Bengali New Year’s day celebrated all over Bangladesh

(Photo : Mohammad Mujibur Rahman)

April 14, first day of Bengali New Year 1421, has been celebrated for centuries

April 14 was an extremely meaningful festive day for all Bangladesh people. On this day, the Bangali people observed their traditional New Year’s day called Pahela Baishakh. Shafiqul Bashar, President of AJA Bangladesh chapter wrote about this day and Mohammad Mujibur Rahman, AJA member and photographer, took photos for the Asia N and Magazine N. -Editor’s note

Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bengali new year 1421, was celebrated all over Bangladesh on April 14 (Monday) with much festivity and gaiety. Entire Bengalee nation, irrespective of caste and religion, welcomed the new year through various colorful functions, rallies, processions and other daylong programs. It was a public holiday and colorful programs were organized by both the government and private organizations while the day was celebrated at every household amidst traditional rituals.

(Photo : Mohammad Mujibur Rahman)

Pahela Baishakh is the most popular festival in Bangladesh in which people belonging to all religions and tribes participate. Men, women and children wear colorful new dresses on the day while girls decorate their head and hairs with flowers. In the urban areas, people gather at places in the morning and sing songs welcoming the new year. And in the rural areas fairs are organized in villages where people gather, enjoy cultural programs, buy traditional items of their choice and exchange greetings with each other.

Pahela Baishakh celebrated more visibly after independence

The big rallies, processions and cultural functions to celebrate the arrival of Bengali new year are organized in the capital city Dhaka for many decades, especially after independence of Bangladesh in 1971. The main function on the day begins at dawn at the vast Ramna Park at city center where scores of artistes of all ages wearing colorful dresses sing songs welcoming Pahela Baishakh. Tens of thousands of people from all over the city gathers there to enjoy the function.

(Photo : Mohammad Mujibur Rahman)

The students of Fine Arts Faculty of University of Dhaka bring out colorfully decorated big procession every year on the day and that is a big attraction for all. The processionists carry big idols and replicas of birds and animals of Bangladesh. The procession brought out Monday morning by Dhaka Varsity students was witnessed and enjoyed by the people across the country as it was covered live by TV channels. Similar functions and processions, small or big, were organized in all the 64 districts of the country.

Pahela Baishakh is a traditional festival of Bengalee nation and it is being celebrated in this country for centuries. Traders and businessmen open their new accounts on this day while everyone wishes and vows to begin a better and prosperous life in the new year. In fact, it is the only national festival in Bangladesh in which all people belonging to all religion, tribes and caste take part equally.

One Response to “Pahela Baishakh” Bengali New Year’s day celebrated all over Bangladesh

  1. Yvonne Bashar 7 May , 2014 at 1:14 am

    Chapal, this is a very nice article on Pahela Baishakh and the photography is also excellent.

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