Making the best of winter
Just like in the near past, winter has been favourably late to the party, but has made its grand entrance with a sudden cold wave, prompting the temperatures to fall announcing its late and much awaited arrival.
Winter in Bangladesh is unique in its many ways, and while its arrival is conspicuous with woollen clothing on the people out on the streets, there is a lot more happening in the kitchens, family gatherings, and workplaces of the country.
A new vibrancy of movements, colours, and festivity pops into our surroundings in the months of the winter season, which runs from November to somewhere near mid-February.
Enjoying the best of Bengali delicacies
One of the most wholesome and heart-warming sights during the winter season is the propping up of stalls and festivals saturated with eating, relishing and celebrating the tastes of pithas, a dish most symbolic of winter.
Pithas are various kinds of rice based desserts — cakes, wraps and such —considered regional delicacies, and are often prepared at home. They often are at the centre of many family gatherings and reunions, accompanied by lots of addas reminiscing over memories of the past and in the making.
Pithas of the winter season are considered the most delicious, making these is an art in itself.
The pithas are usually associated with the Nabanna harvest, during which, some of the main ingredients for some of these delicious dishes become more widely made available, like the new rice crop, and freshly brewed jaggery, and date palm syrup.
Explore the country
Winter is also a time for hearty get-togethers and those once-in-a-lifetime reunion trips where you band together with friends, colleagues, and loved ones and embark on epic trips to the country or the seaside.
With the treacherous humidity gone, this is a perfect time to gear up for travelling and head out. Be it the resorts, or the far-flung regions of Bandarban, surrounded by mist and majestic waterfalls, or even the Sundarbans, winter is the perfect time to reconnect with your inner explorer.
There are also numerous popular destinations for picnics to be arranged at, like the well-organised national parks, thrilling amusement parks, or iconic heritage sites in nearby districts like Savar, Gazipur, or Narayanganj.
Winter is also a time to dive deep into nature's intrinsic circles of life, where you get to see the blooming of diverse flowers and the arrival of migratory birds from regions in the north-- the arrival of whose flocks is a remarkable sight in itself. Among them are the openbill stork, cotton pygmy goose, lesser whistling duck, storks, and swans, all of which come from diverse corners of the world.
Winter's favourite game
If there is any game that symbolises winters is badminton. Be it with your friends or family, a game of badminton relaxes the nerves and tends to your muscles, easing your mind and body after a hectic day at the office or school.
Furthermore, numerous badminton competitions are held not only at school, but also at the workplaces, ensuring a good exercise during the sharp winters. Street badminton is also a medium of connecting with others. What can we say; winter does bring us closer at times.
Take to the skies with your kites
An event that is deeply etched in the minds of the youth about winter is the Shakrain, the annual celebration of flying kites, which takes place mainly in the lanes and alleyways of Old Dhaka.
Colourful kites are flown in the sky. The air around becomes imbued and intoxicated with a torrent of radiant and high-sweeping kites, thus signalling an impending end to winter with some celebratory fireworks.
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed