The nation on Sunday will celebrate Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla New Year 1420, in a traditional manner amid tight security. People in their traditional attires will throng Ramna Batamul and other programme venues in the city and elsewhere in the country to celebrate the fist day of the Bangla calendar.
Thousands of people in Dhaka are expected to congregate at Ramna Batamul, the main venue of the celebrations, at sunrise as Chhayanaut, which has been observing the day since 1965, will greet the Bengali year rendering songs of Rabindranath Tagore.
Dhaka University’s Fine Arts Institute will bring out a ‘Mangal Shobhajatra’, a procession seeking wellbeing for all, with its marchers wearing traditional dresses and colorful masks parade the campus.
The government has taken special security measures to enable people to celebrate the occasion without any untoward incident. Some 12,500 police and Rab personnel will be posted in the capital to ensure the safety of the New Year revelers.
Pahela Baishakh will be celebrated at 30-35 venues in the capital, including the main venue Ramna Batamul and Dhanmondi Rabindra Sarobor.
A three-phase security measure has been taken in Dhaka city as well as other parts of the country so that people from all walks of lives could celebrate the Bangla New Year in a festive mood.
The Bangla year with its first month Baishakh was introduced during the rule of Mughal Emperor Akbar from 1556-1605 AD. The day is a public holiday.
Socio-political and cultural organisations have taken up elaborate programmes to celebrate the day. Dhaka City Awami League will bring out a ‘Mangal Shobhajatra’ from Bahadur Shah Park at 7 am.
Bangladesh Betar and all television channels will air special programmes while newspapers publish supplements on the occasion. On the occasion, acting President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in their separate messages greeted the nation.
In his message, the acting President said the day inspires the nation to go ahead. “The day, which moves all of us, is an excellent occasion for self-understanding and practice of immemorial tradition”.
The President hoped that the Bangla New Year will strengthen unity in national life putting behind the past differences and bringing unlimited pleasure.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the day is a festive occasion for all Bangla-speaking people both at home and abroad. “The Bangla New Year is the source of non-communal spirit of Bangalees. Many plots were hatched during and after the Liberation War to foil this spirit and it came under attack. Many people were killed in bomb blasts. But no evil attempt of fanatics and communal forces succeeded,” said Sheikh Hasina, adding that Bangalee nation flourished in its own glorification.
Sheikh Hasina hoped that the New Year would bring happiness, progress and pleasure to the lives of all Bangalees by sinking old, fatigue and stigma.
In 2001, the nation saw an unexpected tragedy as an explosion at Ramna Batamul during Pahela Baishakh celebrations killed at least 10 people.
People in other cities and district towns will also gather in their respective cultural hubs to take part in the celebrations and attend fairs.
People in rural Bangladesh observe the day visiting fairs and folk performances and exchanging pleasantries. Traders in rural areas and also in small towns open new ledgers settling the accounts of the year gone by.
Ethnic groups in the hill tracts also celebrate the New Year through a programme known as `Baisabi’ in their own fashion
United News of Bangladesh