Pohela Boishakh celebration in Dhaka, Bangladesh
When is Bengali New Year?
Bengali New Year, also known as 'Pohela Boishakh' is the first day in the Bengali calendar.
Poila means ‘first’ and Boishakh is first month of the Bengali calendar
Mughal Emperor Akbar introduced the Bengali calendar in 1556 (Gregorian calendar) to make the collection of land tax easier in 'Subah Bangla', much of which is now in Bangladesh.
As it is Based on a solar calendar it occurs on 14 April in the Gregorian calendar each year. It is a public holiday in Bangladesh and in India, it is a public holiday in Tripura, West Bengal and may be celebrated by Bengali communities elsewhere in India.
It may be observed on 15 April in India, as 14 April is a already a holiday in many states for Dr Ambedkar Jayanti.
It is celebrated at the time as many other new years in the region. It is marked by the sun moving from Pieces to Aries. This is an ancient festival and when it was first observed, the movement of the sun into Aries would have been closer to the Vernal Equinox marking the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere. The dates of these events differ today due to the wobble of the earth on its axis over a 25,000 cycle - known as procession.