August 15, 2022 15:18 (IST)
Follow us:
facebook-white sharing button
twitter-white sharing button
instagram-white sharing button
youtube-white sharing button
PM Modi renews call to fight corruption, familism on 75th Independence Day amid ED heat on Opposition | India will fuel Techade: PM Modi on I-Day | PM Modi pushes for renewables, natural farming in I-Day speech | Five-year-old kids refuse to play with imported toys anymore: PM Modi on Make-In-India in I-Day address | India 'mother of democracy', diversity our strength: PM Modi in I-Day speech
Bengalis celebrate new year today

Bengalis celebrate new year today

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 15 Apr 2018, 04:29 pm

Kolkata, Apr 15 (IBNS):  The dawn of Sunday brought along new fervour, joy and prosperity in the land of West Bengal with the Bengali community all gearing up to wish and hug each other to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Poila Baishakh (the first day of the Bengali calendar), which marks the 'Nababarsho' or the Bengali new year.

This day generally occurs on the 14th April or 15th April, and is celebrated in both Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, as well as among Bengali communities in the other Indian states, including Assam, Tripura, Jharkhand and Odisha.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee  wished people of her state on the special day.

"এসো হে বৈশাখ, এসো এসো।সকলকে জানাই নববর্ষের শুভেচ্ছা।নতুন বছর সবার খুব ভাল কাটুক," she tweeted in Bengali.

Union Home Minister Babul Supriyo also greeted people on the special day as he tweeted in Bengali: "নববর্ষের এই শুভ লগ্নে সকলকে জানাই শুভেচ্ছা, কামনা করি নতুন বছর সকলের জীবনে সুখ, শান্তি ও সমৃদ্ধি নিয়ে আসুক। #PoilaBoishakh."

The Bengali calendar, which is now in 1425th year, is loosely tied with the Hindu Vedic solar calendar, based on the Surya Siddhanta. As with many other variants of the Hindu solar calendar, the Bengali calendar commences in mid-April of the Gregorian year. The first day of the Bengali year therefore coincides with the mid-April new year in Mithila, Assam, Burma, Cambodia, Kerala, Manipur, Nepal, Odisha, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Thailand.

The development of the Bengali calendar is often attributed to King of Gour or Gauda, Shashanka as the starting date falls squarely within his reign.

Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, the renowned grandson of Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur, who was the 3rd Mughal Emperor, introduced the Bengali Calendar.

In regards of relatively easier tax collection, Akbar changed the practice of agricultural tax collection according to Hijri calendar and ordered an improvement of the calendar because the Hijri calendar, being a lunar calendar did not agree with the harvest sessions and eventually the farmers faced severe difficulties in paying taxes out of season.

The Bengali New Year begins at dawn, and the day is marked with wishing, greeting and seeking blessings from elders.

Several cultural programmes are hosted in different communities in Kolkata with singing, processions and fairs dominating them.  Ladies  are witnessed clad in white saris with red borders and men clad in dhuti and kurta take part in the Probhat Pheri or early morning processions to welcome the first day of the year.

Traditionally, businesses start this day with a new ledger, clearing out the old debts. The shops generally hosts a 'puja' and invites the customers to clear old debts.

Food is an important element of the day, since no celebrations in India are complete without food. Several Bengali cuisines are prepared at Bengali homes with sweets being a compulsory item to go along.

On this day, people wear new clothes and go about socialising.

Choitro, the last month of the previous Bengali year, is the month of hectic activities and frantic purchases. Garment traders organise a Choitro sale to attract consumers with heavy discounts.

This day being auspicious also witnesses the start of new businesses and new ventures.

The Mahurat is performed, marking the beginning of new ventures.

The Bengali Hindu traders purchase new accounting book. The accounting in the halkhata begins only after offering puja. Mantras are chanted and "Hindu swastika" are drawn on the accounting book by the priests.

Long queues of devotees are seen in front of the Kalighat and Dakshineshwar temple from late night. Devotees offer puja to receive the blessings of the almighty in the new year.

Long queues are also spotted in front of restaurants and other food joints in Kolkata.