Nation celebrates Pahela Baishakh
The nation on Sunday celebrated Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bengali New Year 1426, amid traditional festivities and enthusiasm.
The festivities began with the singing of “Esho hey Baishakh esho esho” which echoed everywhere in the country to give the day a really festive dimension.
All across the country with people from all walks of life throng different popular and historic spots in the capital and elsewhere to welcome 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.
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.
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 1556 of the Gregorian calendar in a bid to streamline the timing of land tax collection in the then 'Subah Bangla' region, the much of which falls under Bangladesh.
Traders and shopkeepers across the country open 'Halkhata' (new book of accounts) and entertain customers and visitors with sweets on the first day of the New Year as part of the tradition and culture.
On every return of Pahela Baishakh, also the country's biggest cultural festival, people of all walks of life, especially the youths, come out to the roads at daybreak wearing traditional dresses to celebrate the day.
UNB adds: Students of the Institute of Fine Art of Dhaka University brought out a Mangal Shobhajatra (procession of good wishes) from in front of the institute in the morning as part of the carnival.
There were stringent security measures in place for smooth celebrations of Pahela Baishakh.
No one was allowed to wear masks and play Vuvuzela on the day to avert any unpleasant incident and police escorted the Mangal Shobhajatra and keep surveillance from the roofs of buildings.
BSS adds: On the occasion of Pahele Baishakh, the government organized various programmes. The traditional Mangol Shovajatras were brought out at divisional, district and upazila levels as it has earned the international recognition.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages of greeting 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 city people began the day with the traditional breakfast of ‘panta bhat’ (soaked rice), green chilli, 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.