Esho hey Baishakh esho, esho ... The Bengali nation will welcome in the New Year with this popular song as the sun rises this morning and the country enters a new chapter in its history with fresh hopes for a future that holds new successes in all fronts.
In the bygone days, when the economic activities of the country’s people predominantly revolved round agriculture some 400 years ago, the Mughal Emperor Akbar introduced the new solar based calendar to streamline revenue collection with the harvesting of new crop.On this day, traders close their old account books and open halkhata or new ledgers and entertain their clients to mark the fresh beginning of business. Trade fairs along with varied nature of cultural activities are also arranged all over the country where rural craftsmen display their products and people purchase a significant part of their annual requirement of household utensils. Such fairs have immense economic value for the rural people.
The great social event of New Year or Pahela Baishakh celebration is an occasion of spiritual reawakening of the people, especially of the younger generation. On this day, they are introduced to the rich history, heritage and cultural background of their motherland – Bangladesh.
Gradually, celebration of the New Year has become an integral part of the Bangalee culture and has turned into the greatest secular event in which people across religious divides take part enthusiastically. This led to the further strengthening of the traditional inter-commune peace and harmony.
This spirit of the Bangla New Year needs to be strengthened to fight communal hatred instigated by obscurantist and the anti-liberation forces.
The independence of the country marked the end of an era of colonial subjugation and deprivation, and also the beginning of a new period of hopes and aspirations. The Bangalee people have displayed to the world community the potential they have and a future that will bring greater successes to give us the “Shonar Bangla” or Golden Bengal we fought for in 1971. Let the New Year usher is a new chapter of progress and prosperity!