Pohela Boishakh, also known as Bangla New Year or Bengali New Year, is a significant festival in Bengal, celebrated on the first day of the Bengali calendar. The festival usually falls on April 14th, and it marks the beginning of the agricultural year in Bengal. The festival has great cultural and historical significance, and people from all walks of life come together to celebrate this joyous occasion. So let’s dive deeper into the fascinating world of Pohela Boishakh and explore the different facets of this cultural extravaganza!
The Origin of Pohela Boishakh
Pohela Boishakh has its roots in the Mughal era when Emperor Akbar introduced the Bengali calendar in 1584. The festival became an important part of Bengali culture and is now celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout Bangladesh and West Bengal.
Celebrations and Traditions
Pohela Boishakh is still celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour in Bangladesh. On the day of Pohela Boishakh, people wake up early in the morning and wear new clothes, mostly in white and red. The festival is also a time for people to get together with family and friends and enjoy traditional Bengali cuisine. The most popular food items on this occasion in Panta bhat (sticky rice) and fried Hilsha fish.
People also prepare a variety of dishes, including pitha, fish curry, and chutneys.
Most of the Bengali people go for one of the most significant traditions of Pohela Boishakh, the “Pohela Boishakh parade” or “Mangal Shobhajatra”.
The parade consists of a procession of colourful floats, music, and dance performances that move through the streets. People of all ages participate in the parade, and it’s a great opportunity for them to showcase their culture and traditions.
One of the most significant ways people celebrate the occasion is by attending fairs, also known as “Boishakhi Mela.” These fairs are a cultural extravaganza that brings together people from all walks of life.
Boishakhi Mela is usually organised in different parts of the country, including Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, and other major cities. These fairs are often held in public parks or open fields, and the entire place is decorated with colourful lights and banners.
The Boishakhi Mela is a great opportunity for people to showcase their cultural heritage. The fair features traditional Bengali music, puppet shows, dance, and drama performances. Various stalls sell handicrafts, clothes, and food items. Artisans from different parts of the country also display their crafts at the fair, including pottery, weaving, and basket-making.
One of the most popular attractions at the fair is the amusement park. The amusement park features rides, including Ferris wheels, roller coasters, and other exciting attractions that are a hit with children and adults alike.
The fair also features various food stalls that sell traditional dishes such as pitha, chutney, fish curry, biryani, and sweets. People also enjoy fresh fruits, such as mangoes and lychees, which are in season during this time.
Another essential part of the festival is the “Haal Khata” or “opening of new accounting books.” Business owners start new account books on this day, and they invite their customers to their shops to participate in the Haal Khata ceremony.
The ceremony is seen as a way of renewing business relationships and wishing each other good luck for the new year.
Pohela Boishakh is a vibrant festival that celebrates the cultural and historical heritage of Bangladesh. The festival is a time for people to come together and celebrate the start of a new year with hope and happiness. Whether it’s the colourful parade or the delicious Bengali food, Pohela Boishakh is a festival that is loved and cherished by all Bengalis.
Overall, Pohela Boishakh is a crucial festival in Bengal, and it’s celebrated with great pomp and show. The festival brings people of all ages and backgrounds together to celebrate the beginning of a new year and cherish their cultural heritage.