The nation today is celebrating Pohela Boishakh, the first day of Bengali New Year 1425, upholding the rich cultural values and rituals of the Bangalis to find out their root and march forward to build a prosperous Bangladesh. Pohela Boishakh is one of the most colourful festivals of the country through which the Bangalis bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new year.
On this occasion, people from all walks of life wear traditional dresses. Young women wear white sarees with red borders and adorn themselves with bangles, flowers, and tips, while men wear white pyjamas and panjabi or kurta.
The programmes of the day began in the city with the musical soiree at Ramna Batamul at dawn by Chhayanat, a leading cultural organisation of the country. The programme continued for about two-hours. Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private television channels broadcast the programme live.
Mongol Shovajatra, the major attraction of the Bangla new year celebration, began in the morning from the Dhaka University campus and paraded through different areas of the capital city. The main theme of this year flagship parade for Boishakh is to promote the ideology of being a good human being by respecting others.
Besides Dhaka, the traditional Mongol Shovajatra, which already got UNESCO recognition as world heritage, were brought out at divisional, district and upazila levels to reach the traditional programme to the grassroots as it earned the international recognition.
Welcoming the Bangla new year like previous years, Surer Dhara, a major cultural organisation, staged a cultural soiree at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital city.
Many of the city dwellers started the day with 'Panta Bhat' (soaked rice), green chilly, onion and fried hilsha fish at Ramna Park, Suhrawardy Udyan, Dhaka University Campus, Rabindra Sarobor at Dhanmondi and other places of major attractions for the day.
A 10-day Boishakhi Mela begins at Bangla Academy today on the occasion of Bengali new year. As part of the programmes to celebrate Boishakh, National Museum organized a cultural function on Bangali culture at the Poet Sufiya Kamal auditorium. Singer Shama Rahman performed at the function.
The business communities, especially in the rural areas, opened their traditional 'Halkhata', new account books, while sweets were distributed among customers to mark the day.
President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages greeting the countrymen on the occasion of Pohela Boishakh. In separate messages on the eve of Bengali new year 1425, they wished peace, happiness and prosperity of the people and the country in the new year, local media reports said.
The day is a public holiday. National dailies published colourful supplements while Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private TV channels are airing special programmes highlighting the significance of Pohela Boishakh.
Bangladesh Shilpokala Academy has taken a three-day programme to welcome the new year.
Government and non-government organizations, socio-cultural platforms including Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Folk Arts and Craft Foundation, Dhaka University, Jatiya Press Club and Dhaka Reporters Unity have chalked out various programmes to observe the the first day of Boishakh.
Tight security measures were taken across the country for maintaining safety of people during the great celebration.
Like previous years, the global search engine giant Google is celebrating Pohela Boishakh, the first day of the Bangla New Year, by replacing its regular home logo with a special doodle. The doodle features a parade of colorful banners in the shape of an elephant.