Poila Boishakh: Celebrating the Bengali new year with dance, music and good food

Here’s a lowdown of the Bengali new year celebrations happening across Delhi-NCR.

delhi Updated: Apr 13, 2018 18:13 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
DCDP and Bengali Culture Society,Dakshin Delhi Kalibari,Delhi
Dancers perform on Rabindra sangeet as part of Bengali new year celebrations. (Shutterstock)

Celebrating the dawn of the new day and a new year, communities across Delhi-NCR are ringing in the Bengali New Year. Called Poila Boishakh, the event will be celebrated with full gusto, featuring folk music, poetry recitals, cultural dance performances, and traditional sweets and delicacies.

“Bengali calendar consists of 12 months, wherein the first month is Baisakh and it is celebrated as the first day of the new year. It’s celebrated throughout Bengal as well as across India and abroad. Established in 1968, South Delhi Kalibari celebrates the [Bengali] new year in a big way each year,” says Rajat Kumar Niyogi, a retired IPS officer and president of The Dakshin Delhi Kalibari Association.

DCDP and Bengali Culture Society is hosting Bangla Mukh, which is a melange of all things representative of West Bengal, including Bengali songs, poetry, and stories. Chittaranjan Park Kali Mandir Society will see pooja, followed by bhog and folk music. An elaborate display of Bengali delicacies — Dim Pakora, Jhur Jhure Alu Bhaja, Lau Chingri, Sorse Mach, Murgir Manso — will be up for grabs at the celebrations by Bangiya Parishad at Jal Vayu Towers, Gurugram, this Sunday.

Traditional dishes such as Bhapa Ilish. Mishti Pulao, and Rui Kalia are relished during the festivities. (Shutterstock)

“We will commence the evening with Rabindra sangeet — songs written and composed by poet Rabindranath Tagore. We celebrate in an environment-conscious way. Hence, the entire decor is biodegradable. There will also be a skit on preserving the environment,” says Malay Nandy, a Gurugram resident.

“Culturally, Poila means pehla (first). Poila Boishakh is celebrated with lots of food and music. We’ll be performing folk songs such as Sohag Chand, Hrid Majhare, Sundori Komola, and classics such as Dole Dodul Dole Jhulona from Deya Neya (1963),” says Arnab Bhattarcharya, lead vocalist of band Gaaner Guto, adding, “The aim is to attract and engage the newer generation towards traditional music. And since the venue is Dakshin Delhi Kalibari, we’d infuse Bengali folk and spiritual music in a contemporary arrangement.”

Delhiites are excited to soak in the Bengali culture, too. Veda Sharma, an IT professional, says, “I have a few Bengali friends who have invited me over to their celebrations of Poila Boishakh.

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First Published: Apr 13, 2018 18:13 IST