Pohela Boishakh: Bengalis usher in new year with festivities, sweets

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It is new year according to the Bengali calendar and Bengalis around the world are drenched in festivities. Noboborsho or new year is simply called, Pohela Boishakh, which marks the first day of the first month (Baishakh) of the lunisolar Bengali calendar.

Though there is an element of religious significance attached to it, the auspicious day is mostly marked by various cultural and art performances and by sharing meals with family and friends. People visit their relatives and greet each other by saying, ‘Shubho Noboborsho.

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To celebrate the new year, Bengali people clean their homes and decorate their front door with alpana, which is a painting done with mixing rice flour and water.

They wear new clothes, visit temples, seek for their elders’ blessings and indulge in traditional Bengali cuisine like, Dimer Devil, Jhur Jhure Alu Bhaja, Lau Chingri, Sorse Mach, Murgir Manso and sweets.

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One of the biggest and most significant Bengali festivals, Pohela Baisakh also coincides with the other regional festivals like, Bohag Bihu in Assam, Vishu in Kerala and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu.

The festival is celebrated not just by Hindu Bengalis in India and abroad but, also in Muslim-dominated Bangladesh. This is Bengali New Year, 1425, and it also happens to be a national holiday in Bangladesh.

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