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Pahela Baishakh


A token of Bengali identity Pahela Baishakh is one of our festival days. In our Bengali year we celebrate Pahela Baishakh on the first Baishakh every year. The day is celebrated with traditional festivities across the country. On this day different types of people of different social classes come out from their respective residence and enjoy the carnival enthusiastically and publicly because it is a public holiday. Traders and shopkeepers open halkhata (fresh account books) and offer sweets to their customers and clients with a view to satisfying them keeping the age-old tradition. Children, young, adults, aged —– all people of both male and female look forward to celebrating this day with great hope and aspiration. At the very dawn they go outside to celebrate Pahela Baishakh eating panta vath. Most of the girls adorn themselves wearing fresh dress and flowers in their locks. Young and adult boys like to sing with the traditional musical instruments like ektara, dotara, bamboo-flute, sarinda etc. and somebody likes to wear mask of different things. Different socio-cultural organisations draw up elaborate programmes to celebrate Pahela Baishakh. The day’s first programme begins at dawn at Ramna Batamul where Chhayanat, a leading cultural organisation, organises it. Bangla Academy, Shilpakala Academy, Bulbul Lalitakala Academy, Jatiya Press Club, Liberation War Museum, Bangladesh National Museum, Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka University and many other organisations bring out colourful processions with festoons, placards, posters, banners, masks etc. Bangladesh Betar, BTV, ETV telecast different lively programmes describing and showing the festival activities of Pahela Baishakh. We can’t but memorise this day with great pleasure every year.

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