The Bangalee nation especially the youths with their animated vigour and colourful mind celebrated Pahela Falgun, a festival welcoming the advent of spring, today leaving a message to all that love, affection, respect and commitment should be cornerstones of removing all ills and building the nation.
This year the festival came when the entire world is facing the coronavirus pandemic.Formal programmes marking the day were not arranged at Bakultala on the premises of Fine Arts Faculty on Dhaka University (DU) campus, center point of the festival, in view of the pandemic.
But the people celebrated the day informally wearing colorful dresses and floral ornaments and offering flowers to dear and near ones maintaining health guidelines.
Jatiya Basanta Utsab Udjapan Parishad arranged a function titled ‘Jatiya Basanta Utsab 1427’ at Mukta Mancha of Suhrawardy Udyan maintaining health guidelines.
The parishad has been arranging the programme at the Bakultala on DU campus since 1991 but this year it arranged the function at Suhrawardy Udyan as the university authorities decided to cancel all formal programmes in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
The programme was held in two phases – first phase from 7:00 am to 10 am and second phase from 3:30 pm to 7 pm.
Cultural Personality Nasiruddin Yusuf Bachchu inaugurated the festival. With the performance of musical instruments led by Dipen Sarker, the advent of spring (Basanta) was welcomed.Different cultural groups including Sur Saptak, Bulbul Lalitkala Academy and Satyen Sen Shilpigosthi performed at the Mukta Mancha.
Besides, Shilpakala Academy also arranged ‘Basanta Utsab-2021’at the Nandan Mancha of the academy at 4pm.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid addressed the function as chief guest while Cultural Affairs Secretary Md Badrul Arefin joined as the special guest. Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Director General Liaquat Ali Lucky chaired it.
Bangalees mark the spring festival on the first day of Bengali month of Falgun. It is also called Basanta Utsab. It usually falls on February 13. Since 2020 it is coinciding with the Valentine’s Day on February 14 which has also become a major day in celebration of the festival-loving Bangalees especially the youths.
In 2019, Bangla Academy revised Bangla Calendar to match it with the Gregorian calendar aimed at observing the significant days in line with the historic background.
As per the new calendar, the first six months of Bangla year have 31 days, and the last six months of the year have a length of 30 days, except for the month Falgun. In that way, Pahela Falgun coincided with Valentine’s Day this year.
On the day, the capital Dhaka and other major cities of the country usually become ablaze with mirth and merriment as curious youngsters wear yellow and red dresses, flower-made ornaments and attend traditional musical functions.
But this year, the festival was celebrated in a small scale avoiding all gathering.
Clad in yellow sarees and panjabis, people specially the youths visited Dhaka University campus, which is considered the focal point of the celebration, Ramna Park, Suhrawardy Udyan, Rabindra Sarobar, Dhanmondi Lake, Hatirjheel and different other places in the capital.
Meanwhile restaurants also gave special offers on the occasion of Pahela Falgun as well as Valentine’s Day.
Newspapers published special supplements carrying the message of the festivals.
People usually put on colorful “bashonti” (yellow or orange colored) outfit particularly yellow or red panjabis and sarees and present flowers to their soul mates as a token of their profound love for each other. Girls wear floral ornaments like crown.
As spring has arrived with blossom of flowers and new leaves in trees, nature is getting fresher and colorful shape that touch hearts and minds of all ages of people.
The spring has been depicted as the king of all seasons in poetry for its extra-ordinary beauty of nature.
After the dryness of winter, new leaves start to come out again and the nature adorns the branches with new colorful flowers like Shimul, Polash and Marigold denoting the message of arrival of spring.
In nature, it is considered that “Krishnachura” flower brings the message of arrival of spring.
Famous excerpt of Subhash Mukhopadhyay “Phul phutuk na phutuk, aaj Boshonto” beautifully depicts the advent of Basanta Utsab.
“O wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?”, a way English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley described the arrival of spring in his famous poem ‘Ode to the West Wind’.
Everything in nature gives an impression of youthfulness or freshness as if the nature takes a new birth. Colorful flowers, melody of birds or mild touch of the sunshine – everything will make one feel that springtime is the nature’s festival.