Desk Report- 14th April, 2019: Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla calendar, is being celebrated amid traditional festivities and enthusiasm across the country on Sunday.
The festivities began at dawn with the artistes from Chhayanaut welcoming the day with Tagore’s famous song ‘Esho hey Baishakh, esho, esho (come O Baishakh, come)’ under the Ramna Batmul in the capital’s Ramna Park.
People of all walks of life gathered at different popular spots at dawn in capital Dhaka and elsewhere to welcome the Bangla New Year, 1426.
Thousands of people, especially the youths wearing traditional dresses, have thronged traditional venues at different parts of the capital, including Ramna Park, Suhrawardy Udyan, Central Shaheed Minar, Dhaka University, Shahbagh, Dhanmondi Lake, Hatirjheel and different other spots to celebrate the day.
Mughal Emperor Akbar introduced the Bangla calendar in 1556 of the Gregorian calendar in a bid to streamline the timing of land tax collection in the then ‘Subah Bangla’ region, the much of which falls under Bangladesh.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages conveying their New Year's greetings to the people of the country and all Bengla-speaking people across the world.
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 November 30, 2016, the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recognised the Mangal Shobhajatra as a cultural heritage, which has added more importance to this festive day.
Different socio-cultural organisations chalked out elaborate programmes to celebrate the day.