Child artistes performing a dance move at a cultural programme, organised by the Sammilito Pahela Baishakh Udjapon Parishad, to bid farewell to the outgoing Bangla year at DC Hill premises in Chittagong yesterday. Photo: Anurup Kanti Das
The nation celebrates Bangla New Year 1421 today with pomp and splendour.
Stages have been set-up at Ramna Batamul and other venues as the capital made preparations to celebrate the biggest carnival of Bangalees -- Pahela Baishakh.
The festivities begin just after sunrise with thousands of people gathering under the banyan tree at Ramna Udyan where artistes welcome the day with the traditional Pahela Baishakh song of Rabindranath Tagore "Esho hey Baishakh".
The procession of Pahela Baishakh, Mangal Shobhajatra, begins from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University in the morning.
The carnival-goers flock to Baishakhi Mela, one of the main features of the celebration; enjoy outdoor cultural programmes; colourful parades, and foods like Panta Bhat (rice soaked in water) with fried Hilsa, lentil soup and smoked chilli at Baishakhi gatherings.
The Bangla year with Baishakh as the first month was introduced during the rule of Mughal Emperor Akbar from 1556 AD to 1605 AD.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted the country yesterday on the occasion of the Bangla New Year.
In separate messages, they wished peace, happiness and prosperity of the people and the country in the New Year, reports BSS.
A student puts finishing touches to an artwork at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University yesterday afternoon. The item, among others, will be used in the Pahela Baishakh procession in the capital today. Photo: Star
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia also greeted the countrymen.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry, on behalf of President Barack Obama and people of the US, greeted all Bangalees on the occasion of the Bangla New Year.
"The United States joins you in celebrating the vibrant history and culture of the Bengali-speaking people. Your rich cultural heritage, from food and song to poetry, art, and literature has greatly enriched our own," he said in a statement.
Different socio-political and cultural organisations as well as business associations have chalked out elaborate programmes like musical functions, colourful marches and street side Baishakhi fairs in the capital as elsewhere across the country.
Bangla Academy, in cooperation with Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation, will hold a 10 day-long Baishakhi Fair and cultural programme.
Khelaghor Dhaka and Jatiya Press Club also organised programmes to celebrate the day.