The first day of Bangla year is called Pahela Boishakh. We celebrate this day to mark the beginning of the 1st day of Bangla New Year. The day is celebrated with traditional festivities across the country. The rural people arrange Boishakhi Mela on this day. Shopkeepers open halkhata and offer sweets to their customers and clients. The day has a special attraction for the town people. They rise early in the morning. They put on their best dress that is payjama and Punjabi. They take panta rice with dried pepper. They pass the whole day in great joy and forget the sufferings of life for the time being. In the town different organizations arrange meeting, seminar, symposium, discussion. Different cultural organizations arrange various kinds of cultural functions. Pahela Boishakh has a great significance. It reflects our age old tradition and culture. It bears the testimony to the fact that we have a culture of our own. It is the manifestation of our cultural heritage.
Boisakhi Mela is the mirror of our traditional culture. It is presumed that it was started about 600 years back-during Emperor Akbar’s reign. On this occasion fairs used to be organized there. In due course the occasion became part of domestic and social life, and turned into a day of merriment. Boisakhi Melas are arranged in many parts of the country. Though Baisakhi Melas are organized in a planned way in almost all cities of the country, originally they are very much rural based. Various agricultural products, traditional handicrafts, hand-made cakes, special kinds of food stuff, sweets, potteries, bangles, pitchers and cane products are the main exhibits, toys, cosmetics as well as various kinds of food and sweets are sold at these fairs. The fairs also provide entertainment, with singers and dancers staging Jatra, Pala gan, Kavigan, Jarigan, Gambhira Gan, Gazir Gan and Alkap Gan. Artistes present folk songs as well as Baul, Marfati, Murshidi and Bhatiali songs. People of all walks of life visit the fair wearing traditional dresses. The melas add new taste to the day. The Baisakhi Mela is an ancient form of Bengali folk festival that continues to thrive in the modern age. It continues for three days, one week or even as long as one month.
Celebration of Pahela Baishakh
In order to celebrate the Pahela Baishakh in a befitting manner we decorated the school premises tastefully. So the school wore a festive look. There were some groups of volunteers who extended their helpful hands in various activities for celebrating the mela arranged on this occasion. One group fenced the entire area. Another group set up shops and stalls for the traders. There were shops of nick nacks, sweets, toys and homemade things. Another group of volunteers rendered service in maintaining discipline. The mela became the place of get-together for the people of the nearby villages. The fair was a special attraction for the children. They bought toys, sweets and different types of things. Since I was one of the organizers of the mela. I was preoccupied to make the mela a success. In fact the mela gave me immense pleasure because all my efforts became successful.
Our National Festivals
Festivals have always been integral parts of our tradition and culture. We have a number of national festivals and we celebrate them throughout the year with traditional festivities. People from all walks of the society take part in these festivals with national fervor. National festivals of our country can be divided into some major divisions. Some of our national festivals are related to our history of Independence and Language Movement, some are related to our religions and the rests are related to our art, culture and other national interests. Whatever may be the occasion, people irrespective of religion, caste and creed join these festivals spontaneously.
Independence Day and International Mother Language Day are the two most important national festivals which are related to our history of Independence and the Language Movement. 26 March is the Independence Day and it is the biggest national festival of our country. On this day we remember the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for our freedom by offering floral wreaths at the National Mausoleum. 21 February is the International Mother Language Day and it is celebrated all over the world to remember the language martyrs and give equal importance to all language.
The national festivals which are related to our religions are Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Durga Puja, Christmas, Buddha Purnima etc. Although these festivals are related to different religions, they are declared as public holidays and people enjoy them with religious harmony.
Pahela Boishakh (the first day of Bangla New Year) on 14 April. Birth anniversary of the noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore on 25 Baishakh and that of the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam on 11th Jaystha are observed throughout the country as national festivals. We also observe some other national festivals relating to our culture and radiation.
Our national festivals give us enormous pleasure. We celebrate them together and renew our pledge to build our nation. These festivals take us closer to each other. They make us think as one nation. We should continue the traditional celebrations of our national festivals.