Being a festival of colour and new beginnings, it is no surprise that you want even the nitty-gritty details of your Pahela Baishakh to be perfect. From the right outfit, to the right home decor, to the ideal food — the list is endless! Yet, as we loom closer to the most anticipated event in the Bengali calendar, the mental to-do list seems more daunting by the minute.
Think five steps ahead
Perhaps, the best way to prepare for your dream Baishakh is to plan early. But how early?
If your idea of 'early' is April 10, then you may be headed for some unpleasant surprises! The time is now as in this week, or at most- the first week of April and no further.
Look through YouTube for recipes, if necessary. You can even try them out before Baishakh to check if the dishes go together. In fact, why not use the time you are stuck in traffic wisely and look through Pinterest for decor ideas or check out the online clothing shops? Proper research will help you know exactly what is available in shops so that you can budget accordingly.
Also, think of the activities you will be partaking in throughout the day. Leave the heels behind if you are going to walk a lot. Carry water and a parasol because you do not want to end up dehydrated and sick due to the heat. If you have children who will be tagging along, make sure not to drag them along too much throughout the day. And finally do not repeat or try to revive last year's failed attempts of celebration.
Hit the stores
Now that you have a rough idea of what you want, hit the stores confidently. For sari-lovers, fashion houses such as Kumudini, Bibiana, and Mayasir can provide just the right level of variation in the classic red and white saris to make heads turn. If you are looking for a shalwar kameez, Deshi Dosh, Le Reve and other boutiques are sure have you covered. With tassles, frills and interesting slits, these outfits not only look stylish, but are comfortable enough to tackle the summer heat. For the bold ones aiming for fusion wear, Aarong is the ultimate go-to store, with their statement collection. The men can also check out stores like Yellow for an exquisite collection of panjabis.
Whether it is a pair of sequin sandals or glass bangles, accessorising your outfit can take it to the next level. Pahela Baishakh is the perfect time to go back to the timeless fashion items such as the teep. Opt for the traditional jewellery such as jhumkas and clay necklaces to complement your outfit. If you have multiple outfits, make sure you have something for each of them. If you plan on buying makeup, ensure that the products are heat-resistant.
For those of you hosting Baishakh parties, it is essential to bring the Baisakhi vibe to your humble abode. Change the curtains or the cushion covers with bright coloured ones. You can opt for appliqué and blocks ones for an aesthetic traditional aura. To really go the extra mile, try getting terra cotta plates and cutleries to celebrate Baishakh in a fun lively way!
Go grocery shopping
Naturally, the prices of essential “Baishakh” ingredients are bound to sky-rocket right before Baishakh. So, if you have figured out what you want to cook, go grocery shopping early to get the best ingredients. Whether it is Karwan Bazar or Shwapno, going grocery shopping early will get you the best bargain.
Pahela Baishakh is also about starting over, and what better way to begin the year that to put a smile on the faces of your loved ones? Take this occasion as an excuse to reconnect with your loved ones with simple handmade cards of appreciation or other small tokens. Get the little ones their favourite sweets or wooden toys!
Don't hold back on the festivities; start the year on a positive note!