Shubho Nabo Barsho 2020: History and significance of Pohela Boishakh or Bengali New Year - Hindustan Times
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Shubho Nabo Barsho 2020: History and significance of Pohela Boishakh or Bengali New Year

Hindustan Times, Delhi | By
Apr 15, 2020 07:19 AM IST

Pohela Boishakh or Bengali New Year marks the first day of the initial month of Baishakh of the Bengali solar calendar. Bengalis all over the world celebrate New Year on this day which falls on the 14 April this year.

Pohela Boishakh or Bengali New Year marks the first day of the initial month of Baishakh of the Bengali solar calendar. Bengalis all over the world celebrate New Year on this day which falls on the 14 April this year. In other regions of India, people celebrate the solar New Year, while the Sikh and Hindu communities celebrate the festival of Vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi.

Shubo Nabo Barsho 2020: History and significance of Pohela Boishakh or Bengali New Year.
Shubo Nabo Barsho 2020: History and significance of Pohela Boishakh or Bengali New Year.

To celebrate this festival, Bengalis greet each other by saying “Shubho Nobobarsho” which translates to “prosperous New Year”. A number of fairs are organised across West Bengal and Tripura to celebrate this joyous occasion.

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The Bengali calendar is attributed to the 7th-century king, Shashanka. It was later modified by Mughal emperor Akbar for the purpose of tax collection. According to historians, the lunar Islamic Hijri calendar followed by Akbar never coincided with the solar agricultural cycles. A harvest calendar called Fasholi Shan was then created and some people believe that this was the advent of the Bengali calendar.

Pohela Boishakh is celebrated by spending time with family, visiting fairs, cleaning one’s houses and adorning new clothes. As the year ends, the Bengali community buys the Panjika, a book containing all important dates for the upcoming New Year. All the auspicious events including housewarming and weddings are then planned according to Panjika. Houses are decorated with traditional designs called alpana on the floor. A number of delicacies including ilish maach, dhokar dalna, rice, and chanar dal are prepared to welcome the New Year.

Here are a few wishes you can send to your near and dear ones on this joyous occasion:

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