Last Updated on February 21, 2020 by Aminul Haque Shahin
Poila Baishakh (পহেলা বৈশাখ) is the first day of the Bengali Calendar. It is also known as Bengali New Year. It is celebrated in Bangladesh and Indian state of West Bengal. In Bengali, Poila stands for ‘first’ and Baishakh is the first month of Bengali calendar. Poila Baishakh has another name called Shubho Noboborsho is a Bengali word which is said to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Every year on the 14th of April is celebrated as the pohela Boishakh among Bengali community as a big festivity.
According to the Bengali calendar, the current year is 1426. Bengali New Year is celebrated with lots of gusto in Bangladesh and in the state of Bengal, Assam, and Tripura. You will also surprise to hear that Pohela Boishakh is also celebrated in the UK and it is the largest Asian festival in Europe and the largest Bengali gala outside India and Bangladesh.
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Origin & History of Pohela Boishakh
The Bengali New Year so warmly celebrated all over the world today originated not from Bangladesh. Yes, what is popularly known as Bangla calendar today saw the light of day through a decision declare by Akbar the Great on 10 March 1585, the famous grandson of Zahiruddin Muhammad Babar was the 3rd Mughal Emperor. Akbar started the Bengali calendar year to collect the tax under his reign (1556-1609).
Several hundred years ago, the economy almost completely relies on agricultural productions. In Bengal, the agriculture necessarily rotated around its six seasons. But in Mughal years, tax was collected on the basis of Arabic or Hijri year and as a result, farmers felt hard-pressed to pay taxes out of season. That’s why Akbar decided to start a new calendar to cover all the season and collect tax on the right time.
Names of the Bengali Months
Nobody knows for sure how and when we started naming the months as Baishakh, Jaishtha, etc. It is guessed that these months, based on the names of the stars, were evolved from the Shakabda which was introduced in 78 A.D. to commemorate the kingdom of the Shaka dynasty in this subcontinent. The star-based names of the Bengali months were evolved as follows:
- Baishakh – বৈশাখ from the star known as Bishakha
- Jiashthya – জ্যৈষ্ঠ from Jaishtha
- Ashara – আষাঢ় from Shar
- Sraban – শ্রাবণ from Srabani
- Bhadra – ভাদ্র from Bhadrapada
- Ashwin – আশ্বিন from Aswaini
- Kartik – কার্ত্তিক from Kartika
- Agrahayon – অগ্রহায়ণ from Agraihon
- Poush – পৌষ from Poushya
- Magh – মাঘ from Magha
- Falgun – ফাল্গুন from Falguni, and
- Chaitra – চৈত্র from Chitra stars
Pohela Boishakh Traditions, Customs, and Activities
The Pohela Boishakh is warmly and joyfully celebrated all over Bangladesh and people traditionally visit their cousins, friends, and neighbors. On Pohela Boishakh women mainly wear white Shari with the red border, adorn their hair with flowers and wear colorful bangles. On the other hand, men mainly wear traditional Panjabi with Pajama, Lungi or Dhoti. People love to celebrate the event with loud festivities and parades to the streets. Boishakhi Mongol Shobha Jatra is one of the biggest attractions of the day. Even Boishakhi Fair (Mela) is organized all over the country and continues for at least a week.
Pohela Boishakh is also the start of Bengali business year. There is a special tradition of the businessmen where they close all their book of accounts named halkhata and would start a new one at the first day of the Bengali calendar.
Panta Ilish – Food is an important part of the Bengali New Year. Panta Ilish is a traditional platter of leftover rice soaked in water with fried Hilsa, help out with dried fish (Shutki), pickles (Achar), green chilies and onion – a popular dish for the Pohela Boishakh festival.
Sweets are another important items for any Bengali festival. Rosogolla, gulab jamun, misti doi and lobongo lotika is a part of Pohela Boishakh.
Bangla New Year SMS & Pohela Boishakh Messages
Wishing you a wonderful Poila Baisakh. May all your dreams come true, your aspirations find bigger wings and most importantly you feel loved wherever you go.
1. Notun e din,
Notun e bochor,
Notun kichhu bhalo,
Notun kichhu katha,
Notun kichhu asha Notun kore jibon niea notun sopno dekha.
SUBHO NOBO BARSOChoitrer Raater Sheshe
2. Surjo Ashe Notun Beshe,
Shei Surjer Rongin Aalo
Muchhe Dik Jiboner Sokol Kalo
Shubho Nobo Borsho!
3. Bochor seser jhora pata
bollo ure eshe,
Ekti bochor periye gelo
haoyar sathe vese,
Natun bochor asche taake
jotno kore rekho,
Swapno gulo sotti kore
vison valo theko.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
4. Misti alor jhikimiki sobuj ghase ghase,
snighdho haway duliye matha fuler koli hase,
Pakhir gane poribese mayabi ek dhoa,
dilam tomay subho nababorsher chhoya.
5. Notun Surjo, Notun Pran, Notun Sur, Notun Gan,
Notun alloy katuk adhar, par hoye jao okul pathar,
Katuk Bishad Asuk Horso,
Suvo hok NOBO BORSHO
6. Notun a a sha, notun rod, notun a alo, notun bhor
Misti hasi dustu chokh, swapno gulo sofol hok
7. Notun asha, bahlobasa
Notun ganer sure
Sobar jibon uthuk bhore
Boisakh er ei bhore
8. Chaitrer raat holo abosaan
Jagche notun bochor Boisakh eri bhore
Sobai ke janai subho nonoborsho!
9. Ja hoyeche bhalor jonnoi hoyeche, ja hobe tao bhalor jonnoi hobe. Bhagawan apnar agami dingulo ke bhoriye din sukh or samriddhite. Subho noboborsho!
10. Sending your way.. Deep felt wishes and greetings.. for the oncoming year.. May you bengali happy new year.. be happy and prosperous!
Top 10 Pohela Boishakh Songs
- Melay Jay Re
- Ailo Ailo Ronge Vora Boishakh
- Esho He Boishakh Esho Esho
- Baje Re Baje Dhol
- Boishakher Bikel Belay
- Shohag Chand Boishakhi Song
- Esho Boishakh by Asif Akbar
Pohela Boishakh Picture Collection