Shubho Naboborsho’r Priti o Shubhechcha
Poila Baisakh, the ultimate day of Celebration for all Bengalis. As the name referes, ‘Poila’ meaning the First and ‘Boisakh’, the first month in Bengali calendar.
Poila Boishakh as childhood memories.
- New curtains , Bed sheets, fresh Flowers,
- Traditional Bengali cuisines and the list goes on…
- New clothes for our God and Goddess at home, flowers for Puja, Enlightened Diyas, Agarbattis spreading divine aroma
- And the lip-smacking sweets offered to our God and Goddess!
- On this auspicious day new clothes are worn,
- Blessing from the elders are taken, by touching their feet and wishing the younger ‘Subho Nabo Barsho’ from the core of heart.
- This is how we start cherishing the first day of our Bengali New Year…Nabo Borsho!!
Today when I am tripping down my memory lanes on Poila Boishakh, I rediscover this day which has been a part of my life ever since I recall. I realized that this day is indeed much more than what I know .
The Beginning of the Celebration of Bengali New Year.
- The days history is way back in the Mughal’s reign.
- The King of Gour, King Shashanka is believed to be the creator of Bengali calendar around 593-594 AD.
- However in the rule of Mughal’s Akbar had changed the Bengali calendar for the convince of tax collection.
- The cultivating cycle and the Muslim lunar calendar were not coinciding. For which the farmer were unable to pay taxes as the crops were not cultivated at that time.
- Thus Emperor Akbar realizing this problem, decided to reschedule the calendar.
- He proposed to prepared a new calendar , which could be a combination of the Hijri and the Solar calendar.
- Keeping the Lunar year and the maximum cultivation of the farmer in mind and prepared a new calendar.
- This is the reason why the Bengali calendar crosses the lunar and the solar year .
The celebration of Poila Boishakh, not only happens in West Bengal but also is an equally important celebration in Bangladesh known as Pohela Boishakh. Bangladesh considered the day as a National Holidays.
The Choitra sale
Photo by Moyan_Brenn
As we speak about Poila Boishakh, without a second thought the first think we remember is the ‘Choitro Sale’. This is a major attraction for all shopaholic, a huge discount/sale is given on all products, practically the streets of Kolkata and other part of Bengal turns to a shopping zone. Walking in the shopping complex or market are like struggling in a crowed rally.The scream of the hawkers, the attracting discounted hoarding , the tempting offers are the USP of the Choitra Sale. Choitra being the ending year month the Bengali calendar, seller wants to clear his old stock, so that he can begin the new year with new stocks . A new business year.
At the day of Poila Boishakh
As this is the new day of the year ,for all entrepreneurs is day has a significant importance. Halkhata the ledger book for the new year is written fresh from this day for the year to commence and the previous year ledger is wrapped up. Most of the shops in Bengal invites their prospective customers. In many jeweler shops customers go and buy gold or deposit some cash in the Gold shop for the smooth and prosperous beginning of the year financially and opening a new ledger book. The shop owner gave gifts and a new Bengali calendar as a token of appreciation for their presence on the auspicious day. This used to be a gesture of goodwill to welcome the customer for all future prospects.
Ganesh Lakshmi Puja
As it is the first day in Bengali year on ‘Poila Boishakh’ Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped for prosperity and happiness. The children of Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva, Ganesha and Lakshmi are worshipped to avoid all obstacles and bad luck for the year and also being blessed with wealth, health and happiness.
Like all religion, on the day of new year a Bengali calendar is presented called the Panjika. The Almanac consist of all the auspicious day for the year to perform the auspicious function. Other than this all the Tithi and all placing of moon and sun on special times and days are forecast in the Panjika. All Bengalis consider the Panjika before all function, such as marriage, annaprasan/rice eating ceremony, grihapravesh/house warming, etc. The Panjika is published at the beginning of the year. It is considered as a only reference to consider all religious dates.
Bengalis and food!
There is no celebration that can be completed without the delicious mouth watering traditional food and sweets. Being a Bengali myself, I can assure the love between Bengalis and the food is kind of eternal. Bengali’s love almost all kind of foods and on an auspicious day like ‘Poila Baisakh’ it is very highly unlikely that Bengali are not following their heart and soul!!
To spread the happiness of the day we cannot forget the sweets
- The Roshugula.
- Kacha gola
- Kheer kadam and
- As food lover all are in festive mood since morning.
- The is started with heavy traditional breakfast like luchi, kochuri.
- For main course many dish are prepared
- Some famous dish are chingri mach, mustard hilsha ,shukto, posto ,mutton darkbanglow, chitol mach, potal yer dorma, panch torkari, doi chicken and the list can continue.
Nabo Barsho food will be in complete without the sweet curd, chuntey of different type and payesh. To end up the delicious food on a good note Bengali needs their favorite misti paan.
Poila Boishakh holds a special place in the heart of Bengalis, although this is not a religious festival but the celebration is grand. No matter where one is, on the day of Poila Boishakh all Bengali miss being in Kolkata
Featured Photo by elyaqim
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