Pahela Baishakh celebrated amid traditional festivities

Pahela Baishakh celebrated amid traditional festivities

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new year celebration at gulshan lakeside

new year celebration at gulshan lakeside

Dhaka, Apr 14 – Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla calendar year, has started being celebrated on Friday amid traditional festivities and enthusiasm across the country .
Different socio-cultural organisations and institutions have chalked out various programmes to mark the country’s biggest cultural festival at the advent of the New Year.Mughal Emperor Akbar started the Bangla calendar year in 1556 and the celebration of Pahela Baishakh began during his rule. Now it has become an integral part of the Bangali’s cultural heritage and tradition and turned into a day of merriment.
Men, wearing panjabi-pyjama, women, attired in saree with red borders, and children in colorful dresses have been thronging traditional Baishakhi Mela (fair) and other cultural functions in the city and elsewhere in the country.
People have been taking ‘Panta Bhat (watery rice)’ with fried fish, lentils, green chili and onions at home, restaurants and fairs following the rich tradition of Bangla culture.
The day is a public holiday.
On the occasion, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages conveying their New Year’s greetings to the people of the country and all Bengal-speaking people across the globe.
Traders and shopkeepers across the country will open ‘Halkhata’ (new ledger accounts) and entertain customers and visitors with sweets on the first day of the New Year as part of the tradition and culture.
Thousands of people, especially the youths wearing traditional dresses, have thronged traditional venues at different parts of the capital, including Ramna Park, Suhrawardy Udyan, Central Shaheed Minar, Dhaka University, Shahbagh, Dhanmondi Lake and Hatirjheel, and different spots to celebrate the day.
Meanwhile, an eye-catching amphitheatre and a grand musical dancing fountain, set up at the city’s Hatirjheel Lake to attract more visitors and tourists, have been opened as Pahela Baishakh gifts for the city dwellers.
Inaugurating those today, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the newly-constructed architectural establishments — the amphitheatre and the musical fountain — are Pahela Baishakh gifts for the city dwellers and the country’s people.
The most colourful celebration of the Bangla New Year begins at the Ramna Batamul at dawn with an elaborate programme undertaken by Chhayanaut, a leading cultural troupe with Tagore’s famous song ‘Esho hey Baishakh, esho, esho (come O Baishakh, come)’ under the banyan tree at the Ramna Park.
The celebration by the organisation has reached 50 this year.
Dhaka University authorities have decided to use Bangla mandatory in official activities from this Pahela Baishakh.
Students of the Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka University took out a ‘Mongol Shuvajatra (procession of good wishes)’ in the morning as part of the carnival led by DU Vice Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique which will parade from Charukala (Fine Arts of DU) to Bangla Motor in the city.
There is a ban on wearing masks during ‘Mongol Shovajatra’, carrying matches, lighters, handbags and vuvuzelas.
Local administrations arranged discussion programmes and fairs in their respective areas to spread the message and recognition of Pahela Baishakh while foreign missions and embassies will organise it to make it known to others.
State-owned Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Bangladesh Betar and the private TV channels will air special programmes on the day, while supplements will be published in newspapers.
However, Dhaka Metropolitan Police has imposed various restrictions on Pahela Baishakh celebrations to avert any untoward incident.
Around 11,000 uniformed policemen along with plainclothes ones have been deployed for ensuring security during the celebrations though there is no specific security alert.
However, the programmes to be held at open spaces in Dhaka University area have been asked to shut by 6:00pm. “Elsewhere in Dhaka, those will have to be shut by 5:00pm.”
The celebration venues will remain under CCTV surveillance. – UNB

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