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: 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!