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>nation celebrates Bangla New Year

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>THE nation on Wednesday celebrated Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla year 1417, amid tight security with traditional songs, music, fanfares and colourful processions.

Thousands of people from all walks of the society dressed in traditional costumes thronged the streets, parks and open spaces across the capital.

Tight security measures were taken in and around the traditional venue of the carnival, Ramna Park in the capital, to avert any untoward incident.

Mughal Emperor Akbar introduced the tradition of celebrating the Bangla New Year in relation to closing of the annual tax collection. Traditionally, traders and shopkeepers open halkhata (fresh accounts) on this day and serve sweetmeats to clients.

In the course of time, it evolved into a day of celebration and an integral part of the Bangalee culture and tradition and has been considered as the spirit of a non-communal festival as people irrespective of religion, sect and creed celebrate the day.

The festivity in the city began with sunrise with the gathering of thousands of people under the banyan tree at Ramna Udyan where artistes of cultural organisation Chhayanaut sang the traditional Pahela Baishakh song of Rabindranath Tagore–“Esho hey Baishakh”–to welcome the day.

The students of the Institute of Fine Arts, Dhaka University brought out the decorated procession called Mongol Shovajatra in the morning to welcome the Bangla new year.

Tens of thousands of people joined the Shovajatra dancing along the beats of traditional musical instruments.


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