Pahela Baishakh, the most popular and secular festivals in Bangladesh, will be celebrated across the country on Saturday amid festivity and traditional gaiety with the pledge to build a prosperous nation together.
To celebrate the first day of Bengali New Year 1425, people from all walks of life, irrespective of casts and creeds, will wear traditional Bengali dresses and will enjoy a colourful day.
The celebration will begin in the capital early in the morning amid Chhayanaut’s flagship Borshoboron programme at Ramna Batamul.
Like the previous years, the musical programme of Chhayanaut will begin at around 6.15 with flute music. The two-hour programme will have 16 single songs, 12 choruses and two recitations. This year’s theme of Chhayanaut’s is ‘Searching Root in the Reality of Globalisation’.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will exchange greetings with leaders of her party, Awami League, and its associate bodies at her official residence Ganabhaban in the morning.
Festival-goers will start the day with the traditional breakfast of ‘panta bhat’ (rice soaked in water), green chilli, onion and fried fish at Ramna Park, Suhrawardy Uddyan, Dhaka University Campus, Rabindra Sarobor at Dhanmondi and other amusement places.
The heart of the festival is the Mongol Shobhajatra, a colourful procession brought out by students and teachers of Dhaka University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. The Mongol Shobhajatra will begin at 9.00am in the morning from Faculty of Fine Arts and parade through the university. The theme of this year’s Mongol Shobhajatra is ‘Manush Vojle Sonar Manus Hobe’.
Besides, Dhaka University authorities and different departments have taken elaborate programmes to celebrate the Bengali New Year.
Business people in old Dhaka have completed their preparation for opening Halkhata [new ledger book] which is one of the oldest Bengali business traditions in the region. They have decorated their shops with flowers and invited customers for having sweetmeat.
Surer Dhara, a leading music school in the country, is arranging a four-day programme from April 11 to 14 to welcome the Bangla New Year and celebrate its silver jubilee.
Like previous years, it celebrated Chaitra Sangkranti or bidding goodbye to the Bangla Year at the dusk of April 13 while on the dawn of the Pahela Baishakh, a thousand selected artistes from across the country, led by Shurer Dhara founder and eminent Rabindra Sangeet exponent Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya, will sing in unison at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) to welcome the Bengali New Year.
Eminent personalities from Bangladesh and India will take part in music, plays and discussions on the day.
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has taken a three-day programme to welcome the New Year. Different government and non-government organisations, socio-cultural platforms including Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Folk Arts and Craft Foundation, National Press Club and Dhaka Reporters Unity have drawn various programmes to celebrate the Pahela Baishakh.
Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigoshthi has taken various programmes including music, dance and drama. Swapnadal, a theatre group, has drawn a two-day programme to welcome the Bengali New Year. The programme includes rally, discussion, dance and music. National Museum will organise a cultural function on Bengali culture at Poet Sufia Kamal auditorium.
Hotels, resorts or other organisations have taken preparation for indoor Baishakhi programmes. Mega malls and, buildings and streets are colourfully decorated with lights and graffiti on the occasion.
At the same time, local administration in divisions, districts and upazilas across the country has drawn various cultural programmes and fairs to celebrate the Pahela Baishakh.
Television channels will air special programmes throughout the day while newspapers and magazines brought out special supplement on the occasion.
The entire country, especially Dhaka city, has been brought under a blanket of security to avoid any kind of untoward incidents.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages greeting the countrymen on the occasion of the Pahela Baishakh.
In separate messages on the eve of Bengali New Year, they wished peace, happiness and prosperity of the people and the country in the year.
Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader in a statement from New York greeted the nation on the occasion.