Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year

14 Apr 2017

What is Poila Baisakh?

“Esho Hey Baisakh Esho Esho” (“Come Baisakh, Come O Come!”)
That’s how New Year is welcomed every year by the Bengalis around the world. Through Rabindra Sangeet, Haalkhata, Dhuti Punjabi, Luchi-Maangsho and the most importantly the warm interaction with people, Bengalis have welcomed their 1424th New Year, sweetly popular as Poila Baisakh.
Poila Baisakh (Poila means first, Baisakh is the first month of the Bengali Calendar) is the Bengali New Year also known as the “Bangla Nobo Borsho”(nobo means new and borsho means year) popular in Indian states of West Bengal and Tripura and Bangladesh. Poila Baisakh celebration is the first day of the Bengali New Year that falls either on 14th or 15th April every year. People greet each other and wish ‘Shubho Nobo Borsho’ or Happy New Year in Bengali and celebrate the day with family, relatives, and friends. Sydney, Australia organises one of the biggest Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year celebrations in the world. Though shopping, eating, and singing include the maximum time of Poila Baisakh celebration, bonding with people and making a harmonious relationship with each other throughout the three sixty-five days are the mantras of Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year.

History and Background of Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year:
Bengali calendar was first launched in 1584 by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. The purpose of making a new calendar for the region was to levy taxes. The Bengali calendar is unique in that it is a mix of both the Hindu Solar Calendar and Hijri lunar calendars.

Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year 2017 Date and Time:
Bengali New Year 2017: Poila Baisakh 1424 falls on 14th April 2017
Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year 2017 auspicious time : 02:17
Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year Celebration or Poila Baisakh Festival 2017 Celebrations: Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year Special Attractions:

The Beginning of the Harvest Season in Bengal:
Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year or Poila Baisakh celebration marks the beginning of the new agricultural season in Bengal.

Panjika-Bengali Almanac on Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year
Bengalis rush to collect the copy of Panjika before the start of Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year. Panjika is the Bengali almanac the year-long handbook to help you find festival timings,   auspicious dates and times for everything from weddings to housewarmings, Horoscope, from starting a journey to launching a business and more. Panjikas are an inseparable part of Poila Baisakh celebration not only in India and Bangladesh but also Bengali communities in Australia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Japan. Benimadhav Seal’s Panjika is the most famous amongst Bengalis. Don’t forget to check out the national panchang here.

Gifts on Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year
People wear new clothes, exchange sweets among friends and relatives during Poila Baisakh celebration. Young people touch the feet of elders and seek their blessings. Loved ones send gifts and greeting cards to attract love. Traditional handicrafts are the best since these are eco-friendly and beautiful to decorate your home. People visit their relatives, friends and dear ones to wish "Shubho Nobo Borsho"(Happy New Year).

Bengalis welcome Poila Baisakh celebration with interesting rural fairs such as Gajan and Charak Mela. West Bengal Government, clubs and committees organise small scale fairs. Traditional items like handicrafts and clothing items such as Shantiniketan handbags, Kantha works, handmade silk saris, rural craftworks like paintings remain extremely popular among the youth even today. Children love toys and people spend much on food during Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year.

Haal Khata for Traders in Bengal
Pohela Boishakh is the auspicious day for Bengali traders and shop owners who celebrate Haal Khata, a ritual to open the ledger during the Poila Baisakh celebration. The owners welcome the priest to the shops or business centres and perform Ganesha and Lakshmi Puja. So, if you or anybody in your family or relatives are having a business, this is an ideal time to establish Ganesha Yantra and Lakshmi Yantra at your Puja place. The traders invite the existing customers to join the evening party. So, as a customer, you have to simply compensate all the debts of the last year and enjoy sherbet, coconut water, sweets and ice cream with family, relatives, and friends.

Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year Cuisine
Bengalis are the biggest foodies on the earth! During Poila Baisakh celebration, new generations Bengalis tend to dine out whereas the traditional families love to cook the delicious homemade foods and invite relatives and friends. A typical Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year Cuisine includes the following items: puri, eggplant, rice, various fish dishes like baked hilsa, pomfret, meats like mutton, chicken, seafood like prawns and crabs, and finally sweets like rosogollas, payesh, sandesh, kalakand and ras malai.
Cultural Programmes: Music and Films take the centre stage on Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year:
Early morning procession (Probhat Pheri) is an important attraction of Bengali New Year day. Poila Boishkah celebration is one of the best times to socialise and engage in the cultural programmes such as folk songs like baul, dances, skits and theatrical performances to entertain the audience. West Bengal Government organises fair known as the Bangla Sangeet Mela (Bengali Musical Fair).
Tollygunge, Kolkata's film town, celebrates the Bengali “Shubho Nobo Borsho” with the auspicious mahurat functions of upcoming Tollywood Bengali movies. The city hosts several special programs on Poila Baisakh celebration every year, bringing the crowd to Nandan, the Calcutta Town Hall, New Market and the Maidan.

Commercialisation on Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year
Shops, stores, and showrooms offer huge discounts on Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year to woo customers. Grab your favourite things and get the best discounts here. Multi-cuisine Pan-Indian Restaurants and five-star hotels serve traditional Bengali specialty menu whereas the book shops release new books and organise Poila Baisakh special adda sessions for people from different background.

Food Festivals on Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year
Food is the paradise of bliss for the Bengalis and therefore the shopping malls gear up to attract people to food festivals during Poila Baisakh celebration. Mouth-watering delicacies like chingri maccher malai curry, mutton kalia and vegetarian dishes like chanar dalna are the specialties of the festival.

The Bengali Women on Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year
The Bengali women are the centre of attractions on the auspicious day of Poila Baisakh celebration. This is because throughout the year they keep themselves simple and natural except few occasions like Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year when they love to spruce up! You can discover the Bengali girls in traditional garad saree (white saree with yellow or orange border) with gold or pearl necklaces and earrings.
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Rituals of Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year Or Bangla Naba Barsha Rituals:
Bengal celebrates Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year with full of joy, happiness, and warmth. To welcome Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year, maintain the following rituals:
  • Take a holy bath in a river to mark the auspicious beginning of Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year.
  • On the morning of Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year, bring your family together to watch the auspicious sunrise.
  • Clean and decorate your home with the flowers. You can even paint your home and make it gorgeous on the occasion of Poila Baishakh-Bengali New Year.
  • Design your home with alpana (a simple white design made of rice) in front of the main door of your home.
  • Prepare Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year alpana with flour and adorn its centre with earthenware pot and mark an auspicious swastika on the pot.
  • Fill the pot with holy water and mango leaves to welcome a peaceful year for your family.
  • Now, pray to Lord Ganesha first.
  • Worship Goddess Lakshmi, the symbol of Wealth to pray for prosperity and well being.
  • Time to open new ledger accounts or Haalkhata if you are a businessperson.
  • Wear gemstone rings recommended by expert astrologers to strengthen the nine planets in your birth chart.

Powerful Mantras of Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year:
On the auspicious day of Poila Baisakh celebration, pray to Lord Ganesha first and chant the mantra before starting the puja:
“Om Shreeng Hreeng Kleeng Glaung Gang Ganapataye Var Varad SarvaJanmay Vashmanay Tha Tha.”
To remain debt-free throughout the Bengali New Year, chant the Rinn Harta Mantra on Poila Baisakh-Bengali New Year:
      “Om Ganesh Rinnam Chhindhi Varenyam Hoong Namaah Phutt”
To attract peace, good luck, financial success and prosperity during the Bengali New Year, chant the Shaktivinayak Mantra:
      “Om Hreeng Greeng Hreeng”
Ganesha wishes "Shubho Nobo Borsho!" (Happy New Year!) on Poila Boishakh-Bengali New Year.
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