At the opening of the one-week-long fair, artistes from Usha Nrtiyalaya put up a glamorous performance
In Brahmanbaria, the annual Boishakh festival and fair were launched for the 33rd year with reinvigorated fanfare and enthusiasm.
On Sunday evening, Deputy Commissioner Hayat-ut-Daula Khan opened the festivities by lighting clay oil lamps symbolizing the ushering in of light and warding off evil.
Organized protests against Mongol Shobhajatra, the traditional Boishakh morning rally, on the previous day by Qwomi madrasa students appeared to have energized rather than dampened the mood.
"People who oppose the Mongol Shobhajatra are going against 16 crore Bangalis," he said.
"This is a non-communal festival. It is a celebration of people's freedom and creativity," he said.
At the opening of the one-week-long fair, artistes from Usha Nrtiyalaya put up a glamorous performance.
District Awami League General Secretary Al Mamun Sarker said: "Pohela Boishakh is simply a tradition, there is no religious sentiment associated with it. Those who want to make this a matter of creed are fundamentalists.
"Those who bring dogma into a celebration want to divide the nation. Everybody's faith is their own, but the tradition belongs to all of us."
He called on the public to stand up against fundamentalist forces.
There are 25 stalls in the Boishakh fair, which is being held at the Dhiren Dutta Bhasha Chattar grounds in the district headquarters, organized by Brahmanbaria Literature Academy.