After Gap Of 2 Long Years, Tripura Set To Celebrate ‘Pohela Baisakh’ On April 15

Posted in Featured, Northeast, Tripura


  • Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura 

Agartala, April 14, 2022 : After a gap of two long years, ‘Pohela Baisakh’ (first day of Bengali new year) will be celebrated across Tripura with grand euphoria and merriment. Bengali New Year celebrations were comparatively dull due to the spike of COVID-19 cases while on the contrary this year the markets came back to normalcy.

On the eve of Bengali New Year celebrations, all the temples in and around Agartala city, along with 8 district headquarters in Tripura light up to enjoy the festival in a grand way.

Tripura police took the initiative to tighten the security arrangements from this evening to tomorrow’s midnight aiming to avoid untoward incidents in the capital city as well as the state. TSR jawans have been deployed at every junction and security cameras have been retrofitted.

The life as well as every festival of the Bengali community is incomplete without Rabindranath Tagore and his compositions. This above-mentioned line is taken from one of Tagore’s compositions that welcomes Baisakh.

Baisakh is the first month of the Bengali calendar. The people of Bangladesh celebrate it on April 14 and the Bengali communities of India celebrate this festival either on April 14 or 15. The festival date is set according to the lunisolar Bengali calendar and it therefore always falls on or about April 14, every year. There are many myths and beliefs behind the fixing of the date of Baisakhi festival.

Some people believe that the date of this festival was decided during the rule of Akbar. Akbar used to collect tax from the farmers after the end of the cultivation of spring and the date of Baisakhi was decided according to the agricultural cycle. But some historians discard it and say it was fixed according to the lunar calendar. On the other hand, Baisakhi is the traditional Hindu traditional festival. It is believed to be an ancient harvest festival celebrated by both Hindus and Sikhs.

Barring all these myths about Baisakhi or ‘Pohela Baisakh’ the Bengali communities of India, irrespective of religion, follow the current Bengali calendar to fix the date of this festival. This calendar is based on the Sanskrit text titled Surya Siddhanta. But in Bangladesh people follow the newly modified Bengali calendar in 1966. Since then the Bengali New Year festival always falls on April 14. Hence, we sometimes find a misbalance between the Bengali New Year of India and Bangladesh.

Apart from all these myths and facts of the origin of the Baisakhi festival, there are many rituals based on the belief of the Bengali communities. They consider ‘Pohela Baisakh’ as a day of cleansing the old and starting afresh. This sense of purifying or cleansing can be observed in many domestic as well as economic activities of the Bengali people.

Bengali businessmen start a new ‘Halkhata’, a notebook used for maintaining economical records of any business on the first day of Baisakh. They draw a ‘swastika’, a symbol of the god Ganesha as a sign of new and a good beginning. Bengali women clean their house on the first day of Baisakh and decorate their courtyard with ‘Aplana’, rangoli of white colour. This kind of cleansing of economic and domestic spaces is a sign of abandoning the old things and starting anew on the eve of Bengali New Year.

People celebrate this festival, apart from the ritualistic activity, by preparing sweets and other traditional foods to distribute with family, friends and relatives. People go for processions and arrange cultural programs. In the cultural programs we get to see traditional jatraas, a folk form of drama and folk songs, dance and Rabindra sangeet as well. In such a manner Bengali communities celebrate ‘Pohela Baisakh’ in Bangladesh, West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Odisha and in every corner of the world wherever Bengali people reside.

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