Excitement is building up in the port city as the Bengali New Year comes up. The arrival of “Pahela Boishakh”, the first day of the Bangla calendar and popularly known as “Noboborsho”, is being heralded with special preparations by cultural organisations and educational institutions of the city. The festival dates back to a tradition introduced by the secular Mughal emperor Akbar.
On a visit to the Institute of Fine Arts of Chittagong University at Chatteshawri Road in the port city, students were seen busy making mammoth structures of scarecrows, pigeons, elephants, owls and oxen.
Many were making three-dimensional and flat masks and varied replicas for Mongol Shobhajatra, a procession to observe Pohela Boishakh.
Omar Faruque, a final year student of the institute, told The Daily Star that 150 students of the institute had been working in shifts over the last two weeks to make the masks and replicas.
Wooching Thoai Rakhaine, also a final year student, said the students of the institute were celebrating the New Year with daylong programmes in the institute premises with funds raised on their own.
“The programme will feature different folk sports like Hadudu, cockfight, breaking pots, releasing fanush (paper lanterns) and a classical music evening,” he said.
Like every year, the audience at DC Hill premises will enjoy programmes from a gallery built on the slopes of the hill. The event is the main attraction for the city dwellers on the day.
Sammilito Pahela Boishakh Udjapan Parishad will organise a two-day cultural programme at the venue to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the Bengali New year. The programme will feature classical music, recitation, group and solo dances, and tribal dances. A total of 36 local groups will perform at the programme.
Fulki, a reputed educational institute for children, will host a three-day festival and cultural programme starting today at the Fulki premises. Eminent writer Selina Hossain will inaugurate the festival.
The district Shilpakala Academy will hold multiple cultural events like gazir gaan, pala gaan and puppet shows performed by different troupes from the city and different parts of the country, said Moslem Uddin Sikdar, cultural officer of district Shilpakala Academy.
Terming the celebration of Pahela Boishakh “A reunion of lives”, Chittagong University Vice-chancellor (VC) Anwarul Azim Arif said the festival reflects the secular traditions of the nation.
The university will also hold daylong programmes on the occasion, he added.