For the second year in a row, Chhayanaut announced that it will organise virtual programmes with Bangladesh Television (BTV) marking Pahela Baishakh instead of staging its traditional gathering at the capital's Ramna Batamul to usher in the Bengali 1428 calendar year, due to the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Via a press release, the organisation stated yesterday that it initially had planned to arrange and record the programme at Ramna Park without a live audience at the dawn of April 14, or pre-record the programme before that.
However, it had to revert to last year's arrangement due to recent circumstances.
"As we could not celebrate Pahela Baishakh 1427 through arranging our traditional cultural festivity under the banyan tree at Ramna Park, we had been preparing and rehearsing to organise the festivity this year without the crowd, and also we had plans to pre-record the programme if the situation restricts us to arrange on that day. Sadly, as we have been observing the recent surge of the pandemic and also as some of our artists have been infected with Covid-19, we have decided to broadcast this year's festivity through a special collaborative programme with Bangladesh Television (BTV) as last year," Chhayanaut general secretary Laisa Ahmed Lisa said in the press release.
BTV, the regular broadcasting partner of Chhayanaut's yearly New Year Celebration programme, aired the special programme on April 14 from 7:00am to 8:00am last year. This year's programme is also following the same schedule, she stated.
"The programme will compile and showcase some of the new and previous performances of Chhayanaut artists, and this year we are featuring performances focusing on the Golden Jubilee of our glorious Independence. Aside from BTV, Chhayanaut will also broadcast the programme on its YouTube Channel Chhayanaut Digital - Platform," Lisa added.
Chhayanaut and its traditional cultural extravaganza marking Pahela Baishakh on April 14 has earned fame as one of the grandest regular cultural celebrations in the world since its inception in 1961.
The traditional festivities in Ramna Park did not take place in 1971 during the Liberation War of Bangladesh, and 2020 marked the second year when the institution had to cancel its usual celebration due to the COVID-19 situation.