Priyarakkhit sraman (ID. 5201201082)
Computer & IT - Dr. Montra Leoseng
Contents
 Its Nature
 History
 Halkhata or New Book of Accounts
 Festivals in the past
 Festivals at present:
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Stage shows
Traditional breakfast, clothes
Usual activities for Pahela Baishakh
Cultural Shows
 Conclusion
Its Nature
Called as Pahela Baishakh – First Day of the Bengali
Year. Pahela = 1st , Baishakh = Name of the First Month
of the Bengali Year.
Celebrated in both Bangladesh and West Bengal.
Falls on the 14th or 15th of April.
Pahela Baishakh is indeed a momentous occasion in
the life of each and every Bengalee. It is the first day of
Bangla calendar year. To every Bengalee, young and
old, rich and poor, wise and ignorant, it is a time of
gaiety to be celebrated with great merry-making.
History
 Origin –
 The Hijri lunar calendar was followed by the past
landlords for taking the taxes from the people. It,
however, made things very hard for the people to pay
taxes as they had to pay it before the seasonal output
of the crops.
 Fatehulla Shirazi with the reformist appeal of the
Mughal Emperor Akbar formulated the Bangla Year on
the basis of the lunar Hijri and Bengali solar calendars,
in order for the farmers’ seasonal income to comply
with their payback of taxes to their landlords.
History (continued)
 This is called the Fasli San (agricultural year). Later
known as Bangabda or Bengali New Year.It was dated
to the year 1556, the year of Akbar’s ascension to the
throne. It was introduced on the 10/11th March of 1584.
 It was customary to clear up all dues on the last day of
Chaitra. On the next day, or the first day of the New
Year, landlords would entertain their tenants with
sweets. On this occasion there used to be fairs and
other festivities. In due course the occasion became
part of domestic and social life, and turned into a day
of merriment.
Halkhata or New Book of Accounts
 The main event of the day was to open a halkhata or
new book of accounts. This was wholly a financial
affair. In villages, towns and cities, traders and
businessmen closed their old account books and
opened new ones. They used to invite their customers
to share sweets and renew their business relationship
with them. This tradition is still practised, especially
by jewellers.
Festivals in the past
 (in some parts of the country)Kite flying , bull racing,
horse races, bullfights, cockfights, flying pigeons, boat
racing were very popular earlier but now they are not
enjoyed anymore. Still however in some other parts,
some of these games/sports are continued.
Festivals at present
 Stage shows: jatra, pala gan, kavigan, jarigan, gambhira gan,
gazir gan and alkap gan, folk songs as well as baul, marfati,
murshidi and bhatiali songs, narrative plays like laily-majnu,
yusuf-zulekha and Radha-Krishna, puppet shows and merrygo-rounds.
 Traditional breakfast & clothes: Many townspeople, start the
day with the traditional breakfast of panta bhat (cooked rice
soaked with water), green chillies, onion, and fried hilsa fish.
White sarees with red borders and adornment with bangles,
flowers, and tips for women and white pyjamas or dhoti and
kurta for the men.
Figure 1: Panta Bhat (cooked rice soaked with water), green chillies, onion,
and fried hilsa fish.
Festivals at Present: The Usual activities for
Pahela Baishakh
 Usually on the day everything is scrubbed and cleaned.
People bathe early in the morning and dress in fine
clothes and then go to visit relatives, friends and
neighbours. Special foods are prepared to entertain
guests. Baishakhi fairs are arranged in many parts of
the country. Various agricultural products, traditional
handicrafts, toys, cosmetics as well as various kinds of
food and sweets are sold at these fairs. Early in the
morning people gather under a big tree or on the bank
of a lake to witness the sunrise. Artistes present songs
to welcome the new year.
Festivals at Present: Cultural Shows
 The great Nobel Prize winning Bengali writer named
Rabindranath Tagore wrote a nice poem for the Pahela
Baishakh. Artistes sing that famous song, Eso he
Baishakh eso eso (Come O Baishakh, come),
welcoming Baishakh. Many groups of people approach
them to listen and join the party welcoming Baishakh
on this day.
 There are many processions and cultural shows and
parades by teachers, students and social organizations
celebrating on this day near institutions, campuses,
universities and also on big grounds and roads.
Figure 2: Cultural show attended by large amount of people.
Figure 3 & 4: Various kinds of decorations made to celebrate the Pahela Baishakh.
Conclusion
 The Pahela Baishakh shows the culture and tradition
of the Bangladeshi peoples through the various kinds
celebrations, sports, merriments and traditional
practices seen on this day throughout the country. It
gives pleasant feeling to those taking part in such
activities and also to those who observe as audience.
Without the discrimination of any sort among the
people it looks like they are members of one family! It
is really marvelous to be a part of such celebration!
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Bangla `New Year` Celebration – Noboborsho