sheet (winter)


SHEET is the Bengali winter in the months of Poush and Magh. Temperatures plummet, skies clear, soft sunlight falls on the colourful shawls worn by shivering Bangalees and cold nights are spent under the cozy embrace of heavy quilts. Mornings are spent gulping down serves of fresh date juice and at dusk Pithas add the colour in an otherwise desolate landscape.


TRADITIONALLY the culinary mark of a Bengali winter is Pitha, homemade cakes made of rice flour, coconut, cream and molasses that are made also in celebration of the big harvest. Pithas are one of the most unique and mouthwatering delicacies that Bangladesh enjoys. One of the oldest traditions of Bengal, families, neighbours, communities gather to devour the plethora of Pithas made in the kitchens. These days, Pitha festivals are organised both in rural and urban parts of the country giving us all a rare opportunity to taste the various indigenous country cakes.

basanta (spring)


SPRING is known as Basanta, in the months of Falgoon and Choitro. Blossoming buds and fresh leaves are swung by the most beautiful brisk breezes of the year that is reputed to induce springtime lovers to indulge in what is known as Basanta Bilap. The flowers Shimul, Palash accompany the mango buds crowning the trees and banishes the desolation of winter to make way for the energy of spring.



EVERYONE in the country greets Basanta (Spring) on Pahela Falgun, the first day of the season with much aplomb and festivities. Girls draped in Bashonti (yellow) coloured sarees, decked up in floral ornaments welcome the season with songs and dances while others get involved in the celebrations in their own way. Even the seniors do not want to stay behind, they take part in the revelry with as much enthusiasm, putting on abir on each other. In Dhaka, the Basanta Utshab Festival Celebration Committee has been arranging the programme for the last ten years at Charukala Bakultala of Dhaka University in an effort to sensitise the urbanites about the importance of the festival. Now the celebration has spread around the country. Cities, towns around the country organise their own programmes to celebrate the one of the most beautiful days of the year.

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