Bangla Nobo Borsho (Bengali Calendar) and its celebration in Bangladesh

Bangladesh celebrated the Pahela Baisakh...

By Syed Muazzem Ali

Since the Bengali Calendar was based on solar Calendar, there were some practical difficulties, as the days in each Bangla month had varied from year to year. That problem was resolved in 1966, when the solar-based Bengali calendar was modified by a Bangla academy committee under the stewardship of celebrated scholar Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah. The Committee had made important adjustments on the basis of some astronomical facts. Consequently in Bangladesh, Bangla New year is now celebrated every year on 14 April.

After the independence of Bangladesh, Baishakhi celebration started getting the state patronage. The morning program initiated by Chhayanaut in Ramna Park has further expanded and is more colourful. What had started with nearly two dozen people, has now expanded to include hundreds of singers and reciters dressed in colorful dresses. Side by side, dozens of cultural groups are organizing musical programs all over the country.

In 1989, the students of the faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University revived the old tradition of bringing out procession to celebrate the day. Initially, it was called “Ananda Shobhajatra” (Fun procession) but subsequently, it was renamed as “Mangal Shobhajatra” which literally means “procession of well-being”. The procession, a cultural heritage, is deeply rooted in the Bengali tradition of making clay dolls, pots, and other decorative pieces. It is said that “Charupeethh”, a cultural organization, had first organized the procession in Jessore in 1985.