Pahela Baishakh – the biggest Bengali festival of Bangladesh
The meaning of Pahela Baishakh os first of Baishakh. Pahela is denoted as first and Baishakh is the name of month and it is the first month of the Bengali calendar. The word ‘Shubho Nabobarsho’ which means ‘Happy New Year’ is the traditional greetings of Bengali new year. It is celebrated on 14 April as a national holiday in Bangladesh but in different state of India like West Bengal, Tripura and parts of Assam it is celebrated on 14 or 15 April by the people of Bengali heritage as per their own religious faith and cultural practice.
Short history of Pahela Baishakh
At first the Gaur king, Shashanka introduced the Bengali calendar in 6th century CE, on 12th to 14th April in 594 CE. Then it was again introduced and modified by Mughal emperor Akbar. In Mughal era tax was collected from bengali people as per Muslim Hijri calendar which is a lunar calendar .He felt problem in collecting tax from Bengali farmers as Hijri new year did not match with solar agricultural period.
So to solve the problem emperor Akbar asked his royal astronomer Fathullah Shirazi to regenerate a calendar which was known as Fasholi shan as a harvest calendar. thus it started the Bengali calendar.
Bengali new year celebration
There are so many events that are organized to celebrate this festival. Singing song at Ramna Batamul, Mongol Shova Jatra a march rally for well wish, folk fairs etc are most popular common events.
Singing Bengali songs at Ramna Batamul
Singing Bengali songs early in the morning is the main and popular event of this festival. Bengali people organize many song events in different places according to their capacity. But Singing Bengali songs at Ramna Batamul is the biggest song event in Bangladesh. There are thousands of musicians, singers, dancers are engaged to perform in that event to make successful and colorful this biggest Bengali festival Pahela Baishakh.
Pahela Baishakh Mongol Shova Jatra – A march rally for well wish
Mongol Shova Jatra was introduced in 1989 which becomes as an integral part of this festival. At first it was organised by some students of the departments of fine arts (also known as Charukola) of University of Dhaka. Though so many students, artists are involve with this event but still the students of Charukola lead this event.
Pahela Baishakh Mela – A folk fair
There is another popular event in Pahela Baishakh, that is folk fair. The potters, blacksmith,carpenter bring different types of handicraft, toys in that fair.