Pohela Boishakh (Bangla New Year’s Day)


Source: wikimedia.org
Source: wikimedia.org

Bengalis are known across the world for their creativity, knowledge and fineness of intellect. As in other parts of India, fairs and festivals form an important part of the Bengali calendar. The Pohela Boisakh is one of the most important social occasions that is celebrated throughout West Bengal. It also marks the start of the new harvest season. India being an agricultural nation, this is of extreme significance.

Here are some details of the way it is celebrated in West Bengal: –

Significance of Pohela Boisakh

Source: wikimedia.org
Source: wikimedia.org

Pohela Boisakh is said to be the start of the Indian solar calendar, which is based on the Surya Siddhanta. As in the case of many other communities spread across India, the Bengali calendar starts in the middle of April as per the Gregorian calendar. Traditionally, Bengali landlords used to distribute sweets among tenants and businessmen used to create a new ‘’Halkhata’’(new financial record books) to replace their old ones.

Way Pohela Boisakh is celebrated

Source: bp.blogspot.com
Source: bp.blogspot.com

The Bengali New Year commences at dawn and the occasion is celebrated with songs, processions and fairs. Usually, businesses start on the day with a new ledger hile clearing the existing one. Apart from Bengal, people from the other side of the border in Bangladesh also enjoy a national holiday during the occasion. People from different regions come to enjoy the fairs that are organised. Traditional folk songs are performed by singers and classical plays are performed. As in the case of other festivals celebrated in Bengal, the day is celebrated by greeting friends, relatives and neighbours.

Food prepared for the day

Source: wikimedia.org

Bengalis are known for their elaborate menus during occasions. Some of the most popular delicacies, dishes and foods devoured and savoured on this auspicious occasion include Dhokar Dalna, Panta Bhat and Fried Ilish,Tilapia fish, Poori and Aloo Dum, Muri Ghonto, Lobongo Lotika, a well-known sweet meat and Dudh Puli. Common meat items that are prepared during the occasion include Posto Murgi and Kaju Aar Posto Diye Mangsho.

Attires and Outfits worn by men, women and children on this day

Source: staticflickr.com
Source: staticflickr.com

In Kolkata and other major cities across Bengal, the festivities begin with the people gathering around a big tree. Many stand by a nearby river or lake to view the sunrise. Reputed artists present songs to mark the beginning of the New Year, especially ‘’Esho he Boisakh’’, a well-known song composed by Rabindranath Tagore.

Normally traditional Bengali outfits are worn by men and women. Ladies wear saris in the typical Bengali style. They adorn their hair with beautiful and fragrant flowers.. Men usually wear panjabis, a sort of kurta. Kids wear attractive and colourful traditional attires and join in the merriment.

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