Pohela Boishakh, the first day of the Bangla calendar, will be celebrated across the country on Saturday amid much festivities.
True to a centuries-old tradition, people from all walks of life will throng different popular and historic spots at dawn in Dhaka and around Bangladesh to welcome Bangla New Year 1425 with new hopes and aspirations for a better, more peaceful year.
The celebrations of Pohela Boishakh have become an integral part of Bangali lives since they began over six centuries ago. Mughal Emperor Akbar introduced the Bangla calendar in 1556 of the Gregorian calendar in a bid to streamline the timing of land tax collection in the then “Subah Bangla” region, much of which falls under Bangladesh on Saturday.
The day is a public holiday.
On the occasion, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages conveying their New Year's greetings to the people of the country and all Bangla-speaking people across the world.
Traders and shopkeepers across the country will open “Halkhata,” a new book of accounts, and entertain customers and visitors with sweets on the first day of “Noboborsho” – Bangla for “new year” – as part of the tradition.
On every return of Pohela Boishakh, which is the largest cultural festival in the country, people from all walks of life, especially young people, come out on the roads at daybreak wearing traditional attire to celebrate the day.
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Thousands of people will flock to different parts of Dhaka, including Ramna Park, Suhrawardy Udyan, Central Shaheed Minar, Dhaka University, Shahbagh, and Dhanmondi Lake, to welcome the New Year.
The most colourful celebration of the Bangla New Year begins at the Ramna Batamul at dawn with an elaborate program undertaken by Chhayanaut, a leading cultural troupe.
The fine arts students of Dhaka University will bring out Mongol Shobhajatra, the procession of good wishes – in the morning as a part of the carnival.
State-owned Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Bangladesh Betar and private TV channels will air special programs on the day.
Various socio-cultural organizations have also chalked out elaborate programs to celebrate the day.
Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, and Nazrul Institute will organize separate cultural events.
Extensive security measures have been taken in the city and elsewhere across the country for smooth celebrations on the day.
No programs will be allowed in open air places after 5pm, while the authorities of Rabindra Sarobar have been asked to end their program by 7pm.
Police have banned anyone participating in Mongol Shobhajatra from wearing masks for security reasons.
Several watchtowers have been set up while adequate searchlights have been arranged in the Ramna Batamul area.
A number of mobile courts will be deployed in the Ramna and Dhaka University areas to speedily address any violation of the law.