Wednesday, 23 September, 2020

Pahela Baishakh celebrated in different way

Published on: 8:59 am - Tuesday | April 14, 2020


The Bangalees across the country on Tuesday celebrated this year’s Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla New Year, in a different way, basically making virtual media and digital devices the major means of deriving joy and happiness by staying at homes due to coronavirus scare.

Pahela Baisaikh, one of the biggest universal festivals of the nation, was welcomed by the people of all strata staying at homes as the government urged all citizens to do so in the wake of the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

Pahela Baishakh is one of the most colourful festivals through which the Bangalis bid farewell to the old year and welcome the New Year, but this year all programmes were catcalled due to Covid-19 outbreak that has already claimed 46 lives in Bangladesh and over 1,20,000 across the globe.

The government gave directives to all to celebrate the festival in digital method to avoid public gatherings.

The state-run Bangladesh Television (Btv) broadcast a special programme having contents of Chhayanat’s previous year’s celebration welcoming the advent of Bangla New Year at Ramna Batamul at dawn, Btv sources said.

Besides, recorded traditional songs and dance performances of leading artistes were played.

Chhayanat President Sanjida Khatun’s recorded message was also aired.

A 58-minute programme of the Cultural Affairs Ministry was aired from 8.30 am on Bangladesh Television while all private TV channels relayed it.

This year, the Bangalees welcomed the Bengali New Year by taking traditional food items including panta ilish (watered rice and Hilsha fish) in the morning while other Bangalee foods were also cooked at homes to celebrated the festival.

Nowadays social media activities become a part and parcel of any kind of celebration in Bangladesh like the entire world.

Many were seen posting photographs of food items cooked at home and snapshots and selfie on facebook, twitter and instagram and others. They conveyed greetings to their loved and dear and near ones through messages on mobile phones and social media as well.

Ministers, politicians, cultural and social personalities and celebrities also greeted people on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh on social media.

On this special occasion, people from all walks of life generally wear traditional Bengali dresses. Young women wear white sarees with red borders and adorn themselves with bangles, flowers, and tips, while men wear white pyjamas and panjabi or kurta.

But this time, the citizens celebrated the festival at their respective homes.

Traditional Mongol Shovajatra was not be brought out this year from Fine Arts Faculty on the Dhaka University which becomes the main symbolic programme of the celebration as the authorities cancelled it.

Business communities, especially in the rural areas, generally open their traditional ‘Halkhata’, new account books on that day while traders also offer sweets to customers.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave separate messages greeting the countrymen on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh yesterday.

They urged all to celebrate the Bangla New Year in digital method staying at homes to avoid public gatherings.

They wished peace, happiness and prosperity of the people and the country in the New Year.

The government also cancelled leading cultural institution Chhayanat’s musical soiree at Ramna Batamul at dawn.

Improved food items were served among jail inmates, patients in hospitals and orphanages on the occasion.

The day was a public holiday.

Different national dailies published special colorful supplements highlighting the significance of Pahela Baishakh.

Some historians attribute the Bengali calendar to the 7th century king Shashanka, which was later modified by Mughal emperor Akbar for the purpose of tax collection.

During the Mughal rule, land taxes were collected from Bengali people according to the Islamic Hijri calendar. This calendar was a lunar calendar, and its

new year did not coincide with the solar agricultural cycles.

Akbar asked the royal astronomer Fathullah Shirazi to create a new calendar by combining the lunar Islamic calendar and solar Hindu calendar already in use, and this was known as Fasholi shan (harvest calendar). -BSS