Pahela/Paila Baishakh/Boishakh (Bengali: পহেলা বৈশাখ, or Bengali New Year Bengali: বাংলা নববর্ষ, Bangla Noboborsho) is the first day of the Bengali calendar, celebrated on 14 April in Bangladesh and 14/ 15 April in the Indian states of West Bengal and Tripura by the Bengali people and also by minor Bengali communities in other Indian states, including Assam, Jharkhand and Odisha. It coincides with the New Year’s days of numerous Southern Asian calendars like Tamil new year Puthandu. The traditional greeting for Bengali New Year is শুভ নববর্ষ “Shubho Noboborsho” which is literally “Happy New Year”.
In Bengali, Pahela (Bengali: পয়লা) stands for ‘first’ and Baishakh (Bengali: বৈশাখ) is the first month of the Bengali calendar. Bengali New Year was referred to in Bengali as “New Year” (Bengali: নববর্ষ Nababarsha) or “First of Boishakh” (Bengali: পহেলা বৈশাখ Pôhela Baishakh).The name of the month is derived from the position of the Sun near the star Bishakha (Bengali: বিশাখা).
The Bengali New Year begins at dawn, and the day is marked with singing, processions, and fairs. Traditionally, businesses start this day with a new ledger, clearing out the old.
People of Bangladesh enjoy a national holiday on Pahela Boishakh. All over the country people can enjoy fairs and festivals. Singers perform traditional songs welcoming the new year. People enjoy classical jatra plays.
Like other festivals of the region, the day is marked by visiting relatives, friends and neighbors. People prepare special dishes for their guests.
The festivities from the deep heartland of Bengal have now evolved to become vast events in the cities, especially the capital Dhaka.
In Dhaka and other large cities, the festivals begin with people gathering under a big tree. People also find any bank of a lake or river to witness the sunrise. Artists present songs to welcome the new year, particularly with Rabindranath Tagore’s well-known song “Esho, he Boishakh”. It is tradition to enjoy a meal of ‘panta bhaat and ilish maach'( fermented rice and hilsa fish) on this day. Nowadays People Use To send Pohela Boishakh Special Sms To there nearest Friends And Family Member.
People from all spheres of life wear classic Bengali dress. Women wear saris with their hair bedecked in flowers. Likewise, men prefer to wear panjabis. A huge part of the festivities in the capital is a vivid procession organized by the students and teachers of Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka. According to the history, the rudimentary step of MONGOL SUVAJATRA was started in Jessore by CHARUPITH, a community organization, in 1985. Later in 1989 Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka arranged this MONGOL SUVAJATRA with different motives yearly. Now, the MONGAL SUAJATRA is celebrated by different organization in all over the country.
Of the major holidays celebrated in Bangladesh and West Bengal, only Pahela Baishakh comes without any preexisting expectations. Unlike Eid ul-Fitr and Durga Pujo, where dressing up in lavish clothes has become a norm, or Christmas where exchanging gifts has become an essential part, Pôila Boishakh is about celebrating the simpler, rural heartland roots of the Bengal.
Pahela Baishakh is celebrated with grandeur and colours in Dhaka and other parts of Bangladesh. The celebrations are started at the break of dawn with a rendition of Rabindranath Tagore’s song “Esho he Baishakh” by Chhayanat under the banyan tree at Ramna (the Ramna Batamul). An integral part of the festivities is the Mangal Shobhajatra, a traditional colourful procession organised by the students of the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka (Charukala). The procession has a different theme relevant to the country’s culture and politics every year. Different cultural organizations and bands also perform on this occasion and fairs celebrating Bengali culture are organized throughout the country. Other traditional events held to celebrate Poila Boishakh include bull racing in Munshiganj, wrestling in Chittagong, boat racing, cockfights, pigeon racing.
In Kolkata, Pahela Baishakh (and the entire month of Boishakh) is considered to be an auspicious time for marriages. These days people wear new clothes and go about socialising. Choitro, the last month of the previous year, is the month of hectic activities and frantic purchases. Garment traders organise a Choitro sale and sell the garments with heavy discounts.
Pahela Baishakh is the day for cultural programmes. Prayers are offered for the well-being and prosperity of the family. Young women clad in white saris with red borders and men clad in dhuti and kurta take part in the Prabhat Pheri processions early in the morning to welcome the first day of the year. This day being auspicious, new businesses and new ventures are started. The Mahurat is performed, marking the beginning of new ventures.
Pahela Baishakh is the beginning of all business activities in Bengal. The Bengali Hindu traders purchase new accounting book. The accounting in the halkhata begins only after offering puja. Mantras are chanted and স্বস্তিক shostik (Bengali swastika) are drawn on the accounting book by the priests. Most of the shops, business centres and market-places are decorated with flowers, garlands and auspicious ‘aam’ leaves.
Long queues of devotees are seen in front of the Kalighat Kali Temple and Dakshineswar Kali Temple from late night. Devotees offer puja to receive the blessings of the almighty.
On Pahela Baishakh fairs are held in West Bengal. The most famous of these is Bangla Sangit Mela, held at Nandan-Rabindra Sadan ground. It is conducted by the Government of West Bengal.