The Mongol Shobhajatra is one of the highlights of Pahela Baishakh celebrations. Photo: Star
Pahela Baishakh is the biggest and most popular festival of Bengalis, celebrated amidst lively pageants leaving behind the gloom of the past and giving new impetus to the nation's cultural heritage.
With the first rays of sunlight, Chhayanaut's borshoboron celebrations will begin at the capital's Ramna Botomool at 6:15am. The flagship Pahela Baishakh programme will have recitations and rendition of songs, to usher in the New Year. State TV and a number of private channels will air the proceedings live. The theme for this year's celebration is “Swadesh O Samprity”.
Dhaka's Pahela Baishakh celebrations remain incomplete without the Mongol Shobhajatra. With the theme “Jagroto Koro, Udyoto Koro Nirbhoy Kore Hey”, a colourful procession by students and teachers of the Dhaka University's Faculty of Fine Arts will begin at 9am from the FFA premises and go through various streets. There will also be a puppet show at the faculty throughout the Pahela Baishakh celebrations, alongside bioscope and traditional jatrapala being staged at FFA premises.
Surer Dhara, one of the leading music schools, together with Channel i are holding their own Pahela Baishakh celebrations titled “Hajaro Konthey Borshoboron”, that began at the stroke of dusk yesterday on Chaitra Sangkranti -- the last day of the Bengali calendar -- and will continue past noon today at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy premises will also light up to mark the occasion, with an evening session from 6pm featuring solo and choral songs, dance, recitation, puthi-path and more.
Bengal Foundation's three-day Baishakh celebrations also continue with a Dhak and folk music session in the morning, and performances by renowned artistes in the evening, at the Bengal Shilpalaya in Dhanmondi.
Fashion outlet Jatra's “Shaatkahon Rongila Mela” festival continues, with Ashor performing at their Dhanmondi outlet at 3pm and Kangalini Sufia taking stage from 6pm.
A four-day “Taste of Dhaka” food festival at the Kalabagan field is also draped in Baishakh spirit, bringing in traditional Bengali delicacies in the daylong fair, along with puthi-path and baul songs.
Apart from these, various cultural organisations will keep the day abuzz all over Dhaka with various programmes, at the usual spots like Rabindra Sorobor, Dhanmondi, and Hakim Chattar, Dhaka University.
On the occasion of Pahela Baishakh, Bangladesh National Museum (BNM) is arranging a three -day programme featuring discussions, musical soiree and pitha festival. Civil Aviation Minister Rashed Khan Menon inaugurated the event as chief guest yesterday. Kamrun Nahar Khanam, director general of BNM delivered the welcome speech. Shamsuzzaman Khan, DG Bangla Academy; Dr Ranjit Kumar Bishwas, Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs; and Simin Hossain Rimi MP were present as guests at the programme. M Azizur Rahman, president of Bangladesh National Museum's Board of Trustees presided over the programme.