Poila Baisakh : Bengali New Year

Bidding Adieu to the year 1417 that has gone by and welcoming 1418.

Poila Baisakh or Nabo Borsho is the Bengali New Year Day celebrated on the 1st day of Baisakh month in Bengali calendar. Poila Baisakh 2011 date is April 15, 2011 (Friday). On Poila Baisakh when people meet each other, they greet one another by saying "Shubho Naboborsho" which means "Happy New Year".

Tracing back the history of Bengali New Year, we will find that the festival of Naboborsho was initiated by the great Mughal emperor Akbar.

Poila Baisakh is celebrated with immense excitement and enthusiasm not only by the people residing in Bengal but also outside WestBengal. Naboborsho ushers a new opening, a new anticipation filled with delight, happiness and wealth. Poila Baisakh is an opportunity to honour the rich history of Bengali culture with music, drama and traditional food.

Chaitra is the last month of previous year. It is the month of hectic activities and frantic purchases. The markets remain abuzz with pre-Poila Baisakh sales and discounts and tempting offers to lure one and all. There is something or the other for every one and for every budget.

Poila Baisakh Traditions West Bengal

Bengali New year is a time to give our homes a facelift. Peolple clean and decorate their houses. Many people splash some fresh paint on their homes to give it a new look. People draw colourful rangolis in front of the entrance door. Rangolis are made of coloured rice and it is known as Alpana. In the center of the Rangoli, a red clay pot with a white Swastika is placed. The pot is filled with holy water and mango leaves. It is believed to bring in wealth and symbolizes a happy and prosperous new year.

Poila Baisakh Celebrations in West Bengal

Prabhat Pheri is an important part of Poila Baisakh celebration. Women in traditional red and white saris and men in dhoti kurtas are seen taking part in early morning processions.
People worship Lakhsmi and Ganesh for health, longevity and well being of the family members. Devotees are seen visiting temples (Kalighat, Dhakshineswar) to offer pujas and prayers and seek blessings from God. This is the time when businessmen start their financial year. They open new account books with Haal Khata – a ceremony in which dues and loans are cleared off. Many new enterprises begin on this auspicious day.
People wear new clothes and go about socializing. Food and celebrations go hand in hand. Restaurants and food outlets across the city are sure to rustle up traditional fares in line with Poila Baisakh to usher in this Bengali New Year very auspiciously. One can drop in at Kewpie's, Bhojohori Manna, The Sonnet in Salt Lake, Saffron at The Park, 6 Ballygunge Place etc for a grand buffet with Bengali specialities.
With this year's Poila Baisakh being on a Friday, people also have the option of packing their bags and going for a short trip. Golden beaches, wildlife safaris, heritage sites and stunning hills, there are some great short trips one can take.

Shubho Naboborsho 1418.


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