Bangla New Year
Date & Time: Saturday, 15 April 2017 at 11:00 hrs
Venue: Bangladesh House, Zijdeweg 42, 2244 BE, Wassenaar
Audience: Members of the diplomatic and our communities in The Netherlands.
Dress: Corresponding her/his own culture/Colourful
Pohela Boishakh as we call it is the first day of Bengali calendar. The day is celebrated in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and in the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Jharkhand and Orissa. It is believed that the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the medieval era introduced the Bengali calendar to switch from lunar calendar to solar calendar to conform the tax collection time to the harvest season.
Pohela Boishakh, you can just smell the festivities in the air. The Bangla New Year brings in lots of colours, feeling of freshness, vibrancy and excitement mixed with our rich heritage. And it also brings food; lots and lots of food. The day is an occasion to bid adieu to the past year and welcome the new year with fun and festivity.
More than fun, it is also a soul searching to do better than the last year. Take a stock of what was achieved or not, and resolve to overcome the shortfalls or failures. The central tenant of all festivities is to remain anchored to your roots and resolve to add to the heritage where we are from. Humanity is the face of this festival as people of all colors, creed, religion and hierarchy of society came down to the streets to chant their hearts out for a better and prosperous new year.
Pohela Boishakh symbolizes universality and cultural unity, which is celebrated irrespective of religion, caste or class. The day has deep rooted sentiments for well being of the hard working people like farmers and traders. The day is also considered auspicious for starting new ventures and businesses.
Panta Ilish: A traditional platter of leftover rice soaked in water with fried hilsha. – a popular dish for the Pohela Boishakh.
Fairs & Festivals: It is a national holiday. People of all walks of life, be urban or rural, put on colourful clothes and enjoy fairs and festivities. Traditional foods, handicrafts and toys are the attractions of the fairs.
Dance & Music: Singers performs traditional and folk songs. Dancers dance in colourful costumes.
Procession: An integral part of festivity is “mongol shobhajatra” a traditional colourful parade with colourful shapes and figures in the centre of Dhaka city. Streets are painted in different colours called “alpona”.
Pohela Boishakh has become the symbol of secular spirit; Pohela Boishakh is the symbol of unity, Pohela Boishakh is a matter of pride for all Bangalies.