Like all other nations, Bangladesh has some unique popular festivals. The first day of the Bengali calendar, i.e. the Pohela Boishakh is a day of joy and celebration for the people here. It is observed with great festivity. This festival is indeed embedded in our Bengali tradition. Every year this day comes with new hopes and aspirations. The people wait for this day with utmost interest and when it comes around, all the people irrespective of caste and creed welcome it. The whole of Bangladesh then wears a festive mood.
Bangla New Year is traditionally a big occasion for us. This day is a government holiday. All types of economic activities stop and the people become busy celebrating the day. They welcome the day with a popular song – “Esho Hey Boishakh, Esho Esho”. Every individual starts the day by wishing a happy New Year to his relative, friends, and well-wishes. They never forget to have sweetmeat and offer it to guests on the day. Business firms and shops also with their valued customer’s happy New Year with sweetmeats. Sweet words and sweetmeats make the day sweet.
The “Ramna Batamul” in Dhaka is a place where thousands of people gather to celebrate the day with fanfare. On the day, People rise very early in the morning and gather around that place to enjoy music and have Panta Bhat with Hilsa curry. Thus they turn back to tradition and bask in the rich cultural heritage. Different cultural programmers’ as well colorful rallies and processions mark the day.
On the day, every family, poor and rich, arranges rich food as per capacity with the hope that the joyful moments will linger and continue throughout the year. So, people never let the day be dull and fruitless.
The Baishakh Mela or fair is a common feature of Bangla New Year. It is an old tradition. On the day, fairs sit everywhere -in villages and cities. The main attraction of a fair is the array of various homemade articles or cottage industry products. All type of people – men, women, and children – come to the fair and enjoys them. People rush to buy food and other things, and the place becomes crowded. Book exhibitions and dress exhibitions are also held and enhance the beauty and joy of this big occasion.
Hakata is another common practice that starts from the first day of the New Year. Though this practice is on the wane day by day, a good number of traders still pleasure this with great business with keeping records afresh.
Pohela Boishakh is indeed a significant day in Bengali life. It comes to drive away old pangs and pains, and go ahead with new hope. It gives a special strength to forget the previous failure and make people dream for the best in the future.