Bengalis are the residents of the eastern state of Bengal in India, and they celebrate their New Year which is referred to as Poila Baisakh (Poila means first and Baisakh is the month) in a gala manner. Every year, in mid-April, homes across Bengal go about celebrating their first day of the year with early morning prayers and rituals in a temple, followed by lots of mouthwatering local cuisine and traditional Bengali sweets. A majority of homes cook local non-veg delicacies for lunch which mostly comprises of fish, as well as various other traditional vegetarian dishes. It can be one or more than one variety of fish, especially Hilsa, Golden/Tiger prawns, Rohu, Bhetki and lots more. On this auspicious day of the year, it is mostly the small shop owners that start their new ledger or transaction book. Therefore, they offer their prayers at a local temple, and take blessing from the almighty God for another fruitful, prosperous and happy year. Religious places like Kalighat and Dakshineswar in Kolkata are filled to the brim with people from all walks of life, coming to offer their prayers and obeisance.
Tradition, Food and Music Galore
No other festival in India is as sweet as Poila Baisakh, as the sweet looking Bengali girls in their traditional attire, and the combination of sweet dishes, adds to the icing on the cake. One has to be in Bengal to experience the rich traditions and diverse culture during this day of the year which is celebrated in an extensive manner. Culture & rich tradition takes the center stage during Poila Baisakh, as the air is filled with the fragrance of wild flowers and sounds of Bengali folk songs, especially Rabindra Sangeet and Baul that are played across the length and breadth of the state. One can witness the best of Bengali tradition, culture and cuisine that surely fills your heart with warmth and love. Food is something that is close to a Bengali’s heart, who is always fond of mouthwatering local delicacies, and Poila Baisakh is one such occasion where one can savor the best of traditional Bengali cuisine. Coupled with food, is the folk music that fills the air with love.
Poila Baisakh Fashion Statement
A Saree is always an integral attire of a Bengali woman, and in traditional festivals like Poila Baisakh, it is the number one choice among young college going girls and women alike. An Indian saree is the first choice for a woman who wish to dress-up like a true Bengali diva, and it is the local cotton saree which is referred to as Tant, is the all-time favorite in rural as well as urban Bengal. The soothing cotton fabric material of one such cotton sari makes it a perfect attire during this time of the year, when the summer heat is quietly building up. The natural colors of yellow, pink and orange on one such traditional Bengali saree is attractive and appealing to the eyes. Of late, some girls do wear salwar kameez, but it is the saree which always grabs the attention of all fashion lovers that has a distinct sense of class and sophistication. Poila Baisakh is a time to soak into the bonhomie, and get fully addicted to it.