Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla calendar, was celebrated across the country on Sunday amid traditional festivities and enthusiasm despite various restrictions.
The festivities began at dawn today with the artistes from Chhayanaut welcoming the day with Tagore’s famous song ‘Esho hey Baishakh, esho, esho (come O Baishakh, come)’ at the Ramna Batamul in Dhaka.
People from all walks of life thronged different popular and historic spots in the capital and elsewhere across the country to welcome the Bangla New Year 1426 with new hopes and aspirations for a better, peaceful year.
The celebrations of Pahela Baishakh have become an integral part of Bangalees since the Bangla calendar was introduced by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1556 of the Gregorian calendar.
On every return of Pahela Baishakh, also the country’s biggest cultural festival, people of all walks of life, especially the youths, come out on the roads at daybreak wearing traditional dresses -- men wearing panjabi-pyjama, women attired in sarees with red borders, and children in colourful dresses -- to celebrate the day.
Students of the Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka University brought out the ‘Mangal Shobhajatra (procession of good wishes)’ from in front of the institute around 9:00am today as part of the festival and paraded through the university campus.
Traders and shopkeepers across the country opened ‘Halkhata’ (new book of accounts) and entertain customers and visitors with sweets on the first day of the New Year as part of the tradition and culture.
On the occasion, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have greeted countrymen and all Bangla-speaking people across the globe.
The day is a public holiday.