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A new year. A new beginning full of hopes and dreams, defying the evil and embracing peace. That is merely a gist of the famous Tagore song ‘esho he boishakh, esho esho.’ Bengalis welcome their new year with this song on the first light of the day of Pahela Baishakh followed by a series of events and exchanging sweetmeats. The literal translation of the phrase ‘ Pahela Baishakh’ is the 1st day of the 12-month long Bengali year where ‘Pahela’ means first, and ‘Baishakh’ is the name of the month. According to the Gregorian calendar, the new Bengali year begins on 14th of April and is observed as a national holiday. So, what are your plans for this day? Take a look at the places you can visit on this Pahela Baishakh 1425.

Dhaka University Area – Mangol Shobhajatra

Pahela Baishakh Mangol Shobhajatra
People of all sorts actively participating in Mangol Shobhajatra. Credit: S. M. Tanvir Ayon

Organized by Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University, Mangal Shobhajatra is a mass procession held every year to demonstrate the peace and secular identity of Bengali people. Regardless of age, gender and religious beliefs, everyone spontaneously participates in the rally carrying placards and festoons early in the morning. In 2016, UNESCO declared this event as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. After the rally, a cultural event takes place at Chhayanat, Ramna Park, as the central celebration ceremony and several prominent figures join and celebrate this cultural festival. To experience the authentic essence of Pahela Baishakh, you must visit these events.

Live Music Festivals at Dhanmondi and Banani

new bengali year concert at Rabindra Shorobor
Open air performance in Rabindra Shorobor is one of the main attractions of Pahela Baishakh for people living in Dhanmondi

“Baul Gaan” ( traditional music)  is an integral part of the Bengali culture and is a great way to celebrate the Bengali new year.  Day-long events will take place across the town but if you are planning to visit one of the musical performances, try Dhanmondi or Banani. Rabindra Shorobor in Dhanmondi Lake Park hosts the musical event under open air. Plus, Bengal Boi in Dhanmondi Road 27 (old) is hosting a 4-day long musical festival. Similarly, Jatra Biroti in Banani has organized a 3 day long Baul Musical festival. Try one of these places if you are into music.

Food Festivals In Dhaka

must have new year food- panta ilish
Can you imagine celebrating a traditional festival without having this mouthwatering traditional food? Credit: Tahmid Munaz

For Bengalis, food is always one of the main attraction, and Pahela Baishakh is no different. Especially on this day, breakfast is incomplete without a crispy Ilish (Hilsa Fish) fry and Panta Bhat (soaked leftover rice). Businesses and shops, particularly in Old Dhaka take this matter rather seriously as they welcome everyone with a sweetmeat, whoever walks in. However, Pahela Baishakh is also a good opportunity to explore other traditional foods as well. Prominent hotels like Westin Pan Pacific Shonargaon are organizing special traditional food festivals on 14th of April. If you are a foodie and love to explore, go ahead and experience authentic our cuisine.

Local Pahela Baishakh Fairs

stuffed dolls
Stuffed toys and handicrafts are the best sellers in a Baishakh fair

Lastly, keep an eye on your neighborhood as well. Usually, locals organize Baisakhi Fair and cultural festival in small scale for the residents. Additionally, you will find vendors and shopping carts selling handicrafts, glass bangles, bamboo flutes, etc. Plus, small carts roam around the city as well selling Snacks like muri ( puffed rice) and chira (flattened rice) and pithas ( traditional cakes).  Catch one of these, maybe you will end up with one of the collectibles and some cool Instagram worthy pictures.

Enjoy the day with your friend and family! Bproperty hopes this new Bengali year brings peace and prosperity to your life.

শুভ নববর্ষ ১৪২৫!

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