You are on page 1of 14

Priyarakkhit sraman (ID.

Computer & IT - Dr. Montra Leoseng

Its Nature
Halkhata or New Book of Accounts
Festivals in the past
Festivals at present:

Stage shows
Traditional breakfast, clothes
Usual activities for Pahela Baishakh
Cultural Shows


Its Nature
Called as Pahela Baishakh First Day of the Bengali Year.

Pahela = 1st , Baishakh = Name of the First Month of the

Bengali Year.
Celebrated in both Bangladesh and West Bengal.
Falls on the 14th or 15th of April.
Pahela Baishakh is indeed a momentous occasion in the
life of each and every Bengalee. It is the first day of
Bangla calendar year. To every Bengalee, young and old,
rich and poor, wise and ignorant, it is a time of gaiety to
be celebrated with great merry-making.

The Hijri lunar calendar was followed by the past

landlords for taking the taxes from the people. It,

however, made things very hard for the people
to pay taxes as they had to pay it before the
seasonal output of the crops.
Fatehulla Shirazi with the reformist appeal of the
Mughal Emperor Akbar formulated the Bangla
Year on the basis of the lunar Hijri and Bengali
solar calendars, in order for the farmers
seasonal income to comply with their payback of
taxes to their landlords.

History (continued)
This is called the Fasli San (agricultural year). Later

known as Bangabda or Bengali New Year.It was

dated to the year 1556, the year of Akbars
ascension to the throne. It was introduced on the
10/11th March of 1584.
It was customary to clear up all dues on the last day
of Chaitra. On the next day, or the first day of the
New Year, landlords would entertain their tenants
with sweets. On this occasion there used to be fairs
and other festivities. In due course the occasion
became part of domestic and social life, and turned
into a day of merriment.

Halkhata or New Book of

The main event of the day was to open a

halkhata or new book of accounts. This was

wholly a financial affair. In villages, towns and
cities, traders and businessmen closed their
old account books and opened new ones.
They used to invite their customers to share
sweets and renew their business relationship
with them. This tradition is still practised,
especially by jewellers.

Festivals in the past

(in some parts of the country)Kite flying , bull

racing, horse races, bullfights, cockfights,

flying pigeons, boat racing were very popular
earlier but now they are not enjoyed anymore.
Still however in some other parts, some of
these games/sports are continued.


Stage shows: jatra, pala gan, kavigan, jarigan,

gambhira gan, gazir gan and alkap gan, folk songs
as well as baul, marfati, murshidi and bhatiali
songs, narrative plays like laily-majnu, yusufzulekha and Radha-Krishna, puppet shows and
Traditional breakfast & clothes: Many townspeople,
start the day with the traditional breakfast of panta
bhat (cooked rice soaked with water), green chillies,
onion, and fried hilsa fish. White sarees with red
borders and adornment with bangles, flowers, and
tips for women and white pyjamas or dhoti and
kurta for the men.

Figure 1: Panta Bhat (cooked rice soaked with water), green chillies, onion,
and fried hilsa fish.

Festivals at Present:

The Usual
activities for Pahela Baishakh
Usually on the day everything is scrubbed and

cleaned. People bathe early in the morning and

dress in fine clothes and then go to visit relatives,
friends and neighbours. Special foods are prepared
to entertain guests. Baishakhi fairs are arranged in
many parts of the country. Various agricultural
products, traditional handicrafts, toys, cosmetics as
well as various kinds of food and sweets are sold at
these fairs. Early in the morning people gather
under a big tree or on the bank of a lake to witness
the sunrise. Artistes present songs to welcome the
new year.

Festivals at Present:


The great Nobel Prize winning Bengali writer named

Rabindranath Tagore wrote a nice poem for the

Pahela Baishakh. Artistes sing that famous song, Eso
he Baishakh eso eso (Come O Baishakh, come),
welcoming Baishakh. Many groups of people
approach them to listen and join the party
welcoming Baishakh on this day.
There are many processions and cultural shows and
parades by teachers, students and social
organizations celebrating on this day near
institutions, campuses, universities and also on big
grounds and roads.

Figure 2: Cultural show attended by large amount of people.

Figure 3 & 4: Various kinds of decorations made to celebrate the Pahela Baishakh.

The Pahela Baishakh shows the culture and

tradition of the Bangladeshi peoples through

the various kinds celebrations, sports,
merriments and traditional practices seen on
this day throughout the country. It gives
pleasant feeling to those taking part in such
activities and also to those who observe as
audience. Without the discrimination of any
sort among the people it looks like they are
members of one family! It is really marvelous
to be a part of such celebration!