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Bangladesh celebrates New Year indoors amid lockdown

Television channels broadcast a special programme in the morning on Tuesday to celebrate Pahela Boishakh. In his message on the eve of Pahela Boishakh, President Abdul Hamid called upon people to maintain social distancing. He said the main responsibility of the government today was to protect the people from Corona virus.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted people on the Bangla new year and urged them to celebrate it from home digitally.

Mughal Emperor Akbar introduced the Bangla calendar in 1556 to streamline the timing of land tax collection in Bengal region.

Traditionally, the day is marked in Dhaka by artistes from the cultural group Chhayanut singing the famous Tagore song ‘Esho hey Baishakh, esho, esho’ under the banyan tree in Ramna Park. But Chhayanut announced the cancellation of the public function in view of the Corona crisis.

Across Bangladesh, in normal times the Bangla new year is marked by joyous celebration. Women wear white sarees with red borders and adorn themselves with bangles and flowers. Men also wear white pyjamas and kurta. Business community open their new account book ‘halkhata’ from today.

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