When is Pohela Boishakh in 2012 – Well the Date for Poila Boishakh 2012 is Saturday 14th April. According to Bengali calendar 2012 – 2013 happens to be year 1419.
Bengali New Year(নববর্ষ), also known as Poyela Boishakh (In Bengali, Poyela stands for ‘first’ and Baisakh is first month of Bengali calendar) is an auspicious date for Bengalis from all parts of the world. According to the Bengali calendar which is based on the Hindu Vedic solar calendar, the month of Baisakh commences in mid-April of the Gregorian year. On this day, Bengalis bid adieu to the last year and welcome the New Year with immense exhilaration and bliss. They wish ‘Shuvo Naba Barsho’ (derived from the Sanskrit words Shuva (Happy), Naba (New) and Varsha (year)) to friends, relatives and acquaintances. Celebration of Bengali New Year dissolves the barriers of castes, religions or status and binds Bengalis from every corner of the world in the heartfelt bond of love and unity. ‘Pohela Baishakh’ is primarily celebrated in Bangladesh, West Bengal, Assam and Tripura in India.
Significance of Bengali New Year
‘Pohela Baishakh’(পয়লা বৈশাখ) ushers the beginning of a year filled with new hopes, anticipations and happiness. With the advent of summer, greenery and freshness hails all over which is also depicted in the celebrations of Bengali New Year. Bengalis decorate their home entrances with green mango leaves and colorful flowers. The day marks the beginning of all commercial and business activities in Bengal and also considered an auspicious date for marriages. Beyond the festivities, Bengali New Year holds great significance in uniting Bengalis from all walks of life.
Legend of ‘Poila Baishakh’
The Bengali era owes its origin to the reign of King Shasanko who ruled the vast area encompassing Bangladesh, West Bengal, Assam, Orissa and Bihar from 590 CE to 625 CE. During the Mughal reigns, taxes used to be collected as per the Hijri or lunar calendar which never coincided with the harvest time in Bengal. Hence to release the taxation on farmers, a new calendar was devised in which Bengali years were known as ‘Bônggabdo’. Hence the festival was essentially introduced by Mughal Emperor Akbar and gradually this occasion became an essential part of the domestic and social life of Bengalis.
Rituals of Bengali New Year
Hindu Bengalis worship Ganesha, the god of prosperity Ganesha and Laxmi, the goddess of wealth on Bengali New Year day. Women wear ‘Sari’ and Men wear ‘Dhoti-Kurta’, the traditional attire of Bengalis. Every home is decorated with articulate ‘Alpana’. People of all age groups participate in early morning processions known as ‘Prabhat Pheri’ where they sing Bengali songs. Plenty of cultural activities are arranged throughout the states celebrating ‘Poila Baishakh’. Young people touch the feet of their elders and the elders consecrate them with blessings for prosperity and good health. Elders hug each other (Kolakoli) and exchange good wishes.
Celebration of Bengali New Year
Houses and business establishments are cleaned and renovated to celebrate this sacred day. Bengali businessmen start their new account book (Halkhata) and invite their prospective customers to make a decent start of the business at the very first day of the year. They welcome their customers with sweets and new Bengali calendars are distributed.
‘Poila Baishakh’ is indeed an integral part of Bengali culture and festivities that renews the unity and love among people every year.