1. Pray at home
Poila Baishakh or Bangla Noboborsho, is the Bengali New Year. It usually falls on the 14th or 15th of April on the Gregorian calendar. The Bengali calendar is unique because it derives from both the Hindu and Hijri lunar calendars. This day is celebrated as an auspicious festival marking the beginning of the Bengali year all over West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, and Bangladesh, and we tell you some of the ways you can do the same, too!
Usually, people make a trip to the Kalighat Temple in Kolkata to offer prayers of gratitude for the previous year, and seek blessings from the great Goddess Kali. This is a tradition that lives on among all the Bengalis of the city. People also throng Dakshineswar temple or Belur Math in Howrah. Since you cannot venture out, simply hold a small ceremony at your home honouring Kali ma for the same.
2. Wear new clothes
Be sure to don a piece of clothing that is brand new to mark the new year, as is customary. Brighten up for a more festive touch by wearing a Bangali-style saree, which is white with crimson borders, and golden jewellery to jazz up the outfit. Gentlemen, you can wear a stylish kurti-pajama or the traditional dhoti-panjabi!
3. Celebrate at home
Usually, people go to a mela and have a whale of time sampling the tasty fare on offer, and buy all sorts of souvenirs like trinkets and decorative tokens for extremely cheap. A ride on a nagordola or Ferris wheel, and enjoying the spectacular panoramic view of the city from above is also mandatory! One of the most popular fairs is Bangla Sangeet Mela, where you can see lots of vibrant cultural song and dance performances. But all of that is out of question now, so simply turn on the music at home. You will find a great collection of Bengali music on ZEE5. Connect to the speaker and enjoy.
4. Enjoy sumptuous meals
As this is an exceptionally special day, Bengalis make sure that the food featured on all menus does justice to the occasion. Relish an elaborate five-course lunch with all sorts of delicious dishes like saag tarkari (spinach), aloo bhaja (potato chips), kosha mangsho (mutton curry), fish fry and of course, finished off with the classic payesh (rice pudding) for dessert. Learn how to whip up a storm in the kitchen with Rannaghar on ZEE5.
5. Make merry with family
One of the most important ways to celebrate Poila Baishakh is to spend time with your family and folk at home. Set up a cosy bonfire in the evening, gather everyone up and have a great time singing Baul and Rabindra Sangeet songs together. After all, this day comes only once a year.
Which of these days are you planning to celebrate your Poila Baishakh? Let us know in the comments below.
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