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When is Poila Baishakh 2024? Know exact date, significance and more about the Bengali New Year

Poila Baishakh 2024 will be a joyous occasion for the Bengali community as they welcome a new year with open arms. It is a time to reflect on the past, set goals for the future, and celebrate with loved ones.

Written By : India TV Lifestyle Desk Edited By : Kristina Das
New Delhi
Published on: April 12, 2024 17:49 IST
Poila Baishakh 2024
Image Source : SOCIAL Know the exact date, significance and more about Poila Baishakh 2024.

The Bengali community around the world eagerly awaits the arrival of Poila Baishakh, also known as Pohela Boishakh, to usher in a new year filled with hope, joy, and prosperity. This festival is not just limited to West Bengal or Bangladesh but is celebrated by Bengalis all over the world. Poila Baishakh marks the beginning of the Bengali calendar and falls on the first day of the first month, Boishakh. 

Origin and Significance

The history of Poila Baishakh can be traced back to the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s reign in the 16th century. During his rule, he introduced a new revenue system called ‘Fasli San’ where the agricultural taxes were collected according to the solar calendar instead of the lunar calendar. To mark this change, Akbar declared Poila Baishakh as the official Bengali New Year’s Day.

Since then, this day has been celebrated with much enthusiasm and vigour, as it symbolizes a new beginning and a fresh start. It is believed that by starting the year with positivity and good intentions, one can achieve success and prosperity in all aspects of life.

Poila Baishakh 2024 Date:

Poila Baishakh typically occurs on April 14 or 15, which is why there is some uncertainty. This year, on April 14, it will be observed as the start of the Bengali calendar year 1431. 

Rituals and Celebrations:

Poila Baishakh is not just a one-day celebration but a month-long affair in Bengal. The preparations for this festival start weeks in advance, with people cleaning and decorating their homes with colourful alpanas (traditional Bengali floor art) and torans (door hangings). Women dress up in traditional red and white sarees with intricate designs, while men wear dhoti-kurta or Punjabi kurta.

On the day of Poila Baishakh, people wake up before dawn and take a holy bath in the river or a nearby water body. They then visit temples to seek blessings from the gods for a prosperous year ahead. The streets come alive with vibrant processions, cultural programs, and fairs organised by various communities. People exchange sweets, gifts, and greetings with friends, family, and neighbours.

Food plays a crucial role in Bengali festivals, and Poila Baishakh is no exception. A traditional feast called ‘Noboborsho Bhog’ is prepared at home, consisting of various delicacies like shukto (mixed vegetable curry), chingri macher malai curry (prawn curry), alur dom (spicy potato curry), and payesh (rice pudding). People also indulge in street food like jhalmuri (puffed rice snack) and phuchka (panipuri) while enjoying the festivities.

So, mark your calendars and get ready to immerse yourself in the colourful and vibrant celebrations of Poila Baishakh 2024 – a fresh start to the Bengali New Year!

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