DWith the approaching of Bengali New Year of 1425, which falls on April 14, the entire Bangladesh has apparently gotten into a festive mood.
Shopping malls in capital Dhaka as well as marketplaces across the country are brimming with customers seeking items in preparation for new year celebrations.
Celebration of the Bengali New Year begins with the sunrise when people wearing new dresses gather in the main venues around the Dhaka University in the capital.
Like in previous years, hundreds of thousands of people irrespective of cast, color, sex and religion wearing masks and traditional dresses, mostly students of colleges and universities, are expected to join the colorful procession – Mangal Shobha Jatra – to welcome the new year with good spirits.
During the procession, students from Dhaka University usually carry large symbolic figures of birds and animals chasing evil spirits.
In Bangladesh, Pohela Boishakh, or the first day of the New Year, is a national holiday. Bengalis usually start the day with the traditional simple breakfast of panta-bhat (leftover rice soaked in water), fried fish and traditional curries.
Bangladeshi Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said that stringent measures will be put in place to prevent any disturbance in the festivities of the New Year.
Thousands of additional security persons including policemen, elite force Rapid Action Battalion and SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) have been deployed to ensure security for the new year celebration venues including fairs in Dhaka.
Emperor Akbar of the Mughal Dynasty introduced the Bangli calendar year and the celebration of Pohela Boishakh, marking the advent of Bengali New Year, which is now considered as an integral part of the Bengalis cultural heritage and tradition and a day of merriment.
The Mughal Dynasty ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for three centuries from 1526.