Poila Baisakh – Bengalis in a Festive Mood!
Polia Baisakh – the auspicious day of the Bengalis is knocking at the door! The Bengali Noboborsho is celebrated in West Bengal and Bangladesh with great zest and delight on 14th or 15th of April every year.
In Kolkata, Bengalis make this day special by wearing new garments, exchanging gifts, sweets and other pleasantries among family, friends and acquaintances.
Prayers are offered for the welfare of near and dear ones. Women celebrate it by wearing red bordered saris and men prefer to wear kurta and dhoti. They participate in the Probhat Pheri procession in the early hours of the morning to embrace the first day of the Bengali New Year.
It is the symbolism of the commencement of all business activities in Bengal. New account books are bought by the traders and accounting begins only after the puja.
A Day for Cultural Programmes: Bengalis known for their love for art and culture participate in various cultural programmes on this day. Fairs are held around this time, notable of which is Bangla Sangit Mela at the Nandan-Rabindra Sadan premises.
Bengali Predilection for Food: The Bengali predilection for mouthwatering delicacies comes out best on Poila Baisakh. Traditional Bengalis have a fondness for leftover rice (soaked in water) with dried fish, fried Hilsa, dal, pickle, green chillies and onion.
The modern, suave Bengalis prefer eating out at restaurants specialising in Bengali delicacies. The menu includes rice, pulao, luchis, Enchor kaliya or dhokar dalna. Non veg dishes include Hilsa, Pabda (fish), prawn curry, chicken or mutton.
Bengalis cannot do without sweets and on Poila Baisakh they like to spoil their taste buds more with Rasgullas, Chanar Payesh, Kalakand, Sandesh or Ras Malai.