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Pahela Baishakh, Bangla New Year's (1431) Day Sunday April 14

Special Correspondent Nation 2024-04-13, 9:16pm


Pahela Baishakh, first day of Bangla New Year 1431.

Dhaka, Apr 13 - Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla calendar, will be celebrated across Bangladesh on Sunday April 14. This festival, rooted in tradition for centuries, marks the start of the year 1431 in the Bangla calendar.

The people have already started exchanging Bangla New Year's greetings cards and messages through the social media and telephone SMS to mark the day.

On the day businessmen open haal khata (new accounts books) and welcome their customers with sweets to pay off dues of the outgoing year and start fresh accounts of transactions.

The day is marked by holding of Baishakhi melas (fairs) all over rural Bangladesh where people come to sell their merchandise that range from handicrafts to kites of different shapes and colours, sweets, utensils, household articles and toys for children.

Fairs are organised also in capital Dhaka and other cities and towns. Some shops sell watered rice with hilsa fry onion and chili as a delicacy of the. Cultural programmes and musical soirees are also organised on the day. In Dhaka City a Boishakhi procession is brought out from the Fine Arts Institute of Dhaka University in the forenoon.

For hundreds of years, Bengalis have used this festival to welcome fresh beginnings and mark the harvest season. Traditionally, it's a time for businesses to open new account books, for the year ahead.

The Bangla Calendar was introduced during the era of emperor Akbar The Great in keeping with the cropping and harvesting seasons. According to some accounts the calendar was given a final shape by the emperor's representative Fateh Ullah Siraji who was buried near Narayanganj. The area is now called Fatullah.

People will celebrate the day by going to fairs, cultural programmes including musical soirees.

Pahela Baishakh is sometimes associated by violent localised storms called Kal Baishakhi or Nor'wester in the period of transition from dry to wet season. Some such storms have already struck different districts of Bangladesh. -UNB