In an inspirational show of unity and joy, people from all walks of life on Thursday brought out colourful processions and held rallies across the country to celebrate the declaration by the UN Committee for Development Policy that Bangladesh had fulfilled all three criteria required for graduation from the bloc of least developed countries (LDCs).
The capital city, Dhaka, and other cities and towns wore festive looks as people in hundreds attended jubilant celebrations organized to mark the country's landmark achievement.
Commoners apart, artistes, players, eminent personalities and dignitaries joined the processions with colorful banners and festoons in their hands while troupes of singers in their traditional attires performed patriotic songs.
In Dhaka, people in thousands marched in colourful processions towards Bangabandhu National Stadium to participate in the grand celebration of the country's eligibility to graduate to a developing state.
The processions began simultaneously from nine designated spots including Bangla Academy, Shilpakala Academy, Matshya Bhaban, Shishu Academy, Duyel Chattar, Suhrawardy Udyan, Engineering Institute, Dhaka University, Ramna Park, Bangladesh Bank Chattar, Shilpa Bhaban Chattar and Nagar Bhaban.
The processions reached Bangabandhu National Stadium where a colourful cultural show and a laser lighting display were organized as part of the government's two-day celebration of the achievement.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her sister Sheikh Rehana, Rehana's son Radwan Mujib Siddiq Bobby, ministers, the premier's advisers, lawmakers, politicians, business community leaders, journalists, educationists, writers, artistes and literatures, senior civil and military officials joined the function.
On the eve of the celebrations, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Hasina gave separate messages, felicitating the countrymen for their contributions to attain the great honour for the country.
Earlier in the day, Hasina was accorded a grand reception at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre for her leadership and efforts to take the country forward.
Coinciding with the reception, she also opened a set of events to celebrate the declaration.
Economic Relations Division organized the reception ceremony with Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith in the chair. United Nations Under Secretary General Fajita Manual Katua Utau also spoke on the occasion.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao, USAID Administrator Mark Green, and JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka sent separate video messages on the occasion.
Meanwhile, a jubilant rally was held on the Dhaka University campus to celebrate the achievement. Among others, DU Vice-Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman joined the rally.
In Chittagong, different educational institutions celebrated the historic achievement through bringing out jubilant processions from their respective campuses.