Bengali New Year (Bengali: নববর্ষ Nôbobôrsho) or Poyela Boishakh (পহেলা বৈশাখ Pôhela Boishakh) is the first day of the Bengali calendar. Many of the traditional festivities in Bangladesh revolve around the Bengali Year, the most important of them being the Bengali New Year celebrations.
The Bengali Calendar is based on ancient sub-continental calendars which was codified and standardized by the Mughal Emperor Akbar about 6 centuries ago. The start date of the Begali calendar was made to coincide with the start date of the Islamic calendar (i.e. the date of Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) Hejira). The calendar is a solar one which is composed of six seasons that revolve around the region’s agricultural cycle.
- More on the Bangla (Bengali) Calendar (roots and origins)
Another traditional day (though not a national holiday) is Pawhela Falgoon, the first day of spring, which is observed across the country through traditional festivities and colourful programmes. Spring fairs, cultural programmes and exchanges of greetings and gifts among friends and beloved ones mark the day. People from all walks of life tthrong the venues of different programmes wearing colorful dresses including traditional ‘spring sarees’ and ‘Panjabi’. Other programmes of the day include exchange of flowers, gifts and ‘Rakhi-Bandhan’, and poetry recitations.