Monday, April 22, 2019 | ePaper

Pahela Baishakh today

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Noman Mosharef :
The nation is set to celebrate Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bengali New year-1426 today (Sunday) amid fanfare and festive mood across the country.
The socio-cultural and political organisations have already chalked out lots of programmes, including rallies and discussions to mark the day.
Tens of thousands 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 Bangalis bid farewell to the previous year and welcome the new year.
On this occasion, people from all walks of life wear traditional Bangali 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 kurta.
The government has drawn up an elaborate programme. The traditional Mongol Shovajatra will be brought out at divisional, district and upazila levels to the traditional programme and earned the international recognition.
However, business communities, especially in the rural areas open new account books to realize outstanding dues. This is called Halkhata. On the day traders entertain the customers with sweets.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages greeting the countrymen on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh.
They have wished peace, happiness and prosperity for the people and the country in the New Year.
Different government and non-government organisations, socio-cultural platforms, including Bangladesh Shilpokala Academy, Bangladesh Shishu Academy, Bangla Academy, Department of Public Libraries, the National Museum, Kobi Nazrul Institute, Copyright Office, National Book Centre, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), Dhaka University, Jatiya Press Club and Dhaka Reporters Unity have chalked out various programmes to observe the Pahela Baishakh.
The programmes of the day will begin in the city with the musical soiree of Chhayanat, a leading cultural organisation of the country at Ramna Batamul in the dawn.
Mongol Shovajatra will be brought out from Dhaka University (DU) Fine Arts Faculty premises at 9 am.
Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private television channels will telecast the programmes live.
The city resident will start the day with the traditional 'panta bhat' (soaked rice), green chilly, onion and fried Hilsha fish at Ramna Park, Suhrawardy Udyan, on the Dhaka University Campus and Rabindra Sarobor at Dhanmondi and other amusement places.
Important buildings and establishments as well as city streets and islands will be illuminated with colourful lights and graffiti have been painted on the walls signifying the arts, culture and heritage of the country.
A Baishakhi Mela is set to begin at Bangla Academy today on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh.
On the occasion, all museums and archaeological sites will remain open for children, students, people with disabilities and autistics will be allowed to visit the museum free of cost.
Improved food will be distributed among jail inmates, patients in hospitals and orphanages on the occassion.
Bangladesh missions abroad will also organise different programmes to welcome the new year.
The day is a public holiday.
Different national dailies will publish colourful supplements while Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and other private TV channels will air special programmes highlighting the significance of Pahela Baishakh.
Historians attribute the Bengali calendar to Mughal emperor Akbar for the purpose of tax collection.
During the Mughal rule, land taxes were collected to 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 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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