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Pahela Baishakh celebrated
Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla calendar, was celebrated across the country on Thursday amid traditional festivities and enthusiasm, remembering the roots the nation has sprung from.
The festivities began at dawn with the artistes from Chhayanaut welcoming the day with Tagore’s famous song ‘Esho hey Baishakh, esho, esho (come O Baishakh, come, come)’ under the banyan tree at Ramna Park.
The celebrations reached a peak in the afternoon with people in their thousands thronged different popular and historic spots in the capital and elsewhere across the country to welcome the Bangla New Year, 1423.
As there were restrictions on outdoor programmes after 5pm, many were seen rushing to celebration venues in the capital from the morning.
Dhaka University proctor Amzad Ali told UNB that they managed to conclude all the outdoor programmes, except the concert at Mall Chattar, by 5:00pm as per as per as the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) directives.
No untoward incident occurred in Dhaka University area, even they did not get any allegation from anyone in this regard, he said.
As per the DMP directives, nobody could enter the Ramna Park and Suhrawardy Udyan after 4pm on the Pahela Baishakh as all the outdoor programmes were rolled back in the two venues by 5:30pm, DMP Deputy Commissioner (media) Maruf Hossain Sardar told UNB.
However, indoor programmes continued even after the sunset.
People from all walks of life welcomed Pahela Baishkah, the first day of Bangla calendar, amid traditional festivities and enthusiasm despite the restrictions prompted by last year's women assault on the Dhaka University campus.
Pahela Baishakh celebrations have become an integral part of Bangalees since it began over six centuries back.
Mughal Emperor Akbar introduced the Bangla calendar in the 1556 of the Gregorian calendar in a bid to streamline the timing of land tax collection in the then 'Subah Bangla' region, the much of which falls under Bangladesh.
The day is a public holiday.
On the occasion, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted country's people and all Bangla-speaking people across the globe.
Traders and shopkeepers across the country open 'Halkhata' (new book of accounts) and entertain customers and visitors with sweets on the first day of the New Year as part of the tradition and culture.
On every return of Pahela Baishakh, also the country's biggest cultural festival, the people of all walks of life, especially the youth, come out on the streets at daybreak wearing traditional dresses to celebrate the day.
Students of the Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka University took out a 'Mongol Shuvajatra (procession of good wishes)' from in front of the institute around 9:10am as part of the carnival.
People from all walks of life joined the procession that ended at the Dhaka University after parading Karwanbazar through Shahbagh.
Men, wearing panjabi-pyjama, women attired in srees with red borders, and children in colourful dresses flocked to traditional Baishakhi Mela (fair) and other cultural functions in the city and elsewhere in the country.
People took 'Panta Bhat (watery rice)' with fried fish, lentils, green chili and onions at home, restaurants and fairs following the rich tradition of Bangla culture.