Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla New Year 1428, People of the country will celebrate the day staying home as no outdoor programmes have been arranged due to the coronavirus pandemic.
People will celebrate Pahela Baishakh with the family members without going outside for the consecutive second year as corona situation still remains grave in the country.As Pahela Baishakh coincides with the first day of the holy Ramadan this year, most people will prepare delicious traditional food items in their houses and have them after iftar.
Many will play Baishakhi songs and take photos with their loved ones to upload them on social media on the occasion.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon the people to celebrate Pahela Baishakh in a digital method staying at their homes in the wake of corona pandemic.
They gave separate messages greeting the countrymen on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bengali New Year 1428.
President Abdul Hamid, in his message, said this year the nation is going to celebrate the day at a time when the entire world is facing havoc of coronavirus as hundreds of people are dying and being infected with the virus every day and Bangladesh is also a victim of this viral infection.
“Now it is our biggest responsibility to save the country and its people from the clutch of coronavirus. So, it is a must to follow health guidelines and ensure social distancing in a proper manner,” he said.In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangla New Year and the Bangalee nationalism are interconnected.
She hoped that this year’s Baishakh will be a great inspiration for the nation to fight against militancy, fundamentalism, extremism and anti-liberation forces and to build a society free from hunger and poverty and a golden Bangladesh as dreamt by Bangabandhu.
The premier said the present world is facing the disaster of coronavirus outbreak, adding that “Under the circumstances, I urge all to celebrate Bangla New Year staying at homes to avoid public gatherings.”
The government has already urged everyone to celebrate Pahela Baishakh virtually avoiding all sorts of public gatherings due to the surge of corona cases in the country.
Against the backdrop of the corona situation, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs on April 7 requested all concerned to organise programmes on virtual platforms in line with the instructions issued by the Cabinet Division.
As corona cases continue to rise alarmingly in the country, the government will enforce an eight-day complete lockdown from today to check spread of the deadly virus.
This year there will be no Mangal Shobhajatra, a traditional procession, which is usually organised by the Faculty of Fine Arts (Charukola Institute), on Dhaka University campus.
Talking to the Daily Sun, DU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman, said, “We have cancelled all arrangements for Mangal Shobhajatra as the country goes into lockdown from Pahela Baishakh.”
During a visit to the Faculty of Fine Arts, it was found that the faculty premise which remains busy with students taking preparations for Mangal Shobhajatra every year was almost empty ahead of Pahela Baishakh.
Many students, alumni and teachers of the faculty worked hard in the last couple of weeks to make symbols and masks for taking out the traditional procession on a limited scale.
Nazir Hossain Khan, Assistant Professor of Printmaking Department and also member secretary of Mangal Shobhajatra Celebration Committee, said, “Despite taking all necessary preparations for Mangal Shobhajatra, we have cancelled the plan amid the fresh surge of coronavirus.”
“But we have decided to take out a symbolic Mangal Shobhajatra and exhibit and telecast the symbols and masks prepared by our artists on electronic media,” he added.
Chhayanaut, a leading cultural organisation of the country, arranges big musical performances and poetry recitation programme at Ramna Batamul in the capital every year to welcome Bangla New Year.
But this year too, the venue will remain empty as Chhayanaut has decided not to hold any programme amid complete lockdown enforced to contain coronavirus or Covid-19.
General Secretary of Chhayanaut Laisa Ahmad Lisa said, “We are concerned about the health of our artistes as some of them have already been infected with the virus. This has compelled us to arrange digital programme featuring songs performed in chorus in the past and fresh solo performances.”
“We did rehearsal for the programme and took all preparations but finally changed our plan. We hope good days will come soon and we will be able to perform live in front of our audience next year,” said Dr Sarwar Ali, Executive President of Chhayanaut.
“Our Pahela Baishakh programme will be telecast on Bangladesh Television and our website and facebook page from 7:00am to 7:50am. We request all to enjoy the programme virtually and follow health guidelines to stay safe,” he added.
Faculty of Fine Arts at different universities has also decided not to bring out Mangal Shobhajatra. Cultural troupes in major cities will organise programmes virtually to celebrate Pahela Baishakh.