Subject– My Pohela Beshak in Kolkata.
Hello. How are you? I hope this email finds you healthy and happy. By God’s grace I am also well.
According to the Bengali calendar, Pohela Boishakh is the first day of the first month, Baisakh. Another name for Pohela Boishakh in Bangla Noboborsho. People in West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura celebrate the day, which is the Bengali New Year. Bangladesh too celebrates the event with great jubilation and fervour. Poila Baisakh is typically observed between April 14 and April 15, though the exact day varies every year.
Poila Baisakh is being celebrated on April 15 of this year. To conform to the Gregorian calendar, the celebration is, nevertheless, always observed in Bangladesh on April 14th. This year I celebrated with my aunt and cousins in Kolkata. “Shubho Nabobarsho,” which translates to “Happy New Year,” is the customary greeting during the Bengali New Year.
We began the day with a simple panta-bhat breakfast, which consists of leftover rice soaked in water, fried fish, and customary curries. The true Bengali New Year festivities started at sunrise when we joined a large procession known as Mangal Shobha Jatra to formally usher the new year in joy. Like other celebrations, my aunt cleaned the home and we all put up colourful alpana decorations.
She placed a red and white swastika-decorated earthen pot with water inside it in the middle of the alpana pattern. The pot was also covered in mango leaves. This is meant to offer the household luck and fortune in the upcoming year. We went to the river nearby to offer prayers and take a ceremonial bath.
I enjoyed a lot and learned many new things. There are so many wonderful cultures and traditions, it fascinates me. You tell me about an interesting culture you came across.