Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla calendar, was celebrated across the country on Sunday amid traditional festivities and enthusiasm.
The festivities began at dawn with the artistes from Chhayanaut welcoming the day with Tagore's famous song 'Esho hey Baishakh, esho, esho (come O Baishakh, come)' under the banyan tree at the Ramna Park.
True to the century-old tradition, people from all walks of life thronged at different popular and historic spots in the capital and elsewhere across the country to welcome the Bangla New Year, 1426 with new hopes and aspirations for a better, peaceful year.
The celebrations of Pahela Baishakh have become an integral part of Bangalees since it began over six centuries back.
Mughal Emperor Akbar introduced the Bangla calendar in the 1556 of the Gregorian calendar in a bid to streamline the timing of land tax collection in the then 'Subah Bangla' region, the much of which falls under Bangladesh.
The day was a public holiday.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina exchanged Naba Barsha greetings with leaders and workers of Bangladesh Awami League and its associate bodies at Ganabhaban, reported United News of Bangladesh.
Extending her greetings to all the Bengalis both at home and abroad on the first day of Bangla calendar, the prime minister hoped that the new sun of the New Year would make the lives of all even more beautiful with happiness.
Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, expressed her firm optimism that the journey of progress started in the country will continue and the Bangali nation will live with greater dignity and honour in the world.
‘We’ll build Bangladesh as Sonar Bangla. We’ll be able to do so. We’ve been relentlessly working to accomplish the goal,’ said the prime minister.
Traders and shopkeepers across the country have opened 'Halkhata' and entertain customers and visitors with sweets on the first day of the New Year as part of the tradition and culture.
On every return of Pahela Baishakh, also the country's biggest cultural festival, people of all walks of life, especially the youths, came out on the roads at daybreak wearing traditional dresses to celebrate the day.
Students of the Institute of Fine Art of Dhaka University brought out a Mangal Shobhajatra from in front of the institute in the morning as part of the carnival.
Tight security measures have been taken to ensure smooth celebrations of Pahela Baishakh
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