Bengali New Year Celebrations, History & Interesting Facts

Bengali New Year falls in the month of April and is known to be a celebratory event. Today, we will give you some interesting information related to Bengali New Year. In the eastern state of India, the beginning of the New Year is considered from April 14-15, and the Bengali New Year will be celebrated on April 15 in the year 2021. This day is celebrated with great pomp by Bengalis in every state of India as well as all over the world. On this day, Bengali people organize various kinds of events and send each other new year messages.

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History Behind Bengali New Year

Observing Bengali New Year is believed to have begun in the Mughal period during the tenure of Emperor Akbar. During his tenure, Bengalis were taxed. This tax was taken once a year according to the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri calendar. Although this calendar was according to the planetary movement of the Moon i.e. the Lunar period, while the Indian crop cycle was according to the movement of the Sun, as a result of which the farmers had to pay tax untimely. After seeing this, Akbar asked his astrologer Fathullah Shirazi to make a new calendar with the help of Solar and Lunar calendars so that farmers would not face any problem in paying taxes. This new calendar was named Foshali Shone. Some scholars believe that this is the beginning of the Bengali calendar. The first day of the Bengali New Year is called Pohela Boishakh, i.e. the first day of Baishakh month.

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Bengali New Year Celebrations

The month of Baisakh is very special for Bengali people. From the first day of this month to the whole month, people try something new. On the occasion of Pohela Boishakh, people also meet close relatives and friends and send congratulatory messages to their loved ones. Along with this, Bengalis also get their house cleaned or renovated. This day is like a festival, so Bengali New Year celebrations include wearing new clothes, conducting poojas in homes and temples, preparing lip-smacking food items and so on. After Pohela Boishakh, auspicious events of marriage also begin in the Bengali community, which is why this day is considered very important.

Importance Of Bengali New Year

The Bengali New Year has special significance among the Bengali natives. On this day, people try to begin their new year in the best way. Many visit the famous Kalighat temple in Kolkata this day to worship Maa Kali – and seek Mother’s blessings for the new year. This day is also celebrated as a time to forget any fights and bitterness, so cultural programs are also organized in families, communities, etc. to increase harmony among the people. Some of the special things related to this day are explained below.

  • This day is celebrated like a festival, people sing and dance on this day dressed in traditional attire.
  • Along with Mother Kali, Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesh are also worshipped by the Bengali people on this day.
  • Like other states of India, blessings for good rain is wished on this day and hence worship is also done on this day.
  • This day is also considered very special among the traders and businessmen. On this day, traders start a new ledger.
  • On the day of Pohela Boishakh or Bengali New Year, Bengali natives try to eliminate their debts and begin the auspicious New Year.

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Bengali New Year Delicacies

On this day of Pohela Boishakh, delicious food is enjoyed all over India. Bengali natives cook mouth-watering dishes on this day. Meat, fish and sweets are the main attractions. On this day, people also invite their relatives, friends to their house for meals. Special dishes are prepared in the hotels or at restaurants. On the other hand, in many cities and towns of West Bengal, a food festival is also organized on this day. Bengali natives like to eat onions, Hilsa fish and green chillies for breakfast.

Just Like Bengali New Year, Hindu New Year Begins 

On the day of Bengali New Year or Pohela Boishakh, festivals are celebrated on this day in different states of India as well. The Tamil New Year is also celebrated on the Bengali New Year day during mid-April. This day is celebrated as Baisakhi in the northern state of India, Punjab. At the same time, in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the new year starts on 13-14 April and is also known as Vishu. In some northeastern states of India, along with West Bengal, this day is a state holiday. With this, the Hindu New Year begins in March-April.

Rituals On Bengali New Year Day

Bengali New Year is considered very special for Bengali natives, so they wear new clothes after bathing and meditating in the early hours. The day is then started with the worship of Lord Ganesha and Mata Lakshmi. During the daytime, people are involved in social activities. In the evening, people go to the temple or conduct puja at home with family members. Mata Kali is also worshipped by Bengalis in the evening. People worship the Lord on this day and seek their blessings for the new year.

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