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Bengali New Year

National and Public Holidays in Bangladesh National and Public Holidays in India National Holiday in Bangladesh, Regional Holiday in India

Bengali New Year, also known as 'Pohela Boishakh' is the first day in the Bengali calendar.
Pohela Boishakh celebration in Dhaka, Bangladesh

When is Bengali New Year?

How long until Bengali New Year?
This holiday next takes place in 200 Days.
Dates of Bengali New Year
Year Weekday Date
2019 Sunday April 14th
2018 Saturday April 14th
2017 Friday April 14th
2016 Thursday April 14th
2015 Tuesday April 14th
Duration
1 Day
Summary
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.

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.

As Bengali New Year is based on a solar calendar it occurs on 14 April in the Gregorian calendar each year. It is an optional public holiday in Bangladesh and in India in 2017, it 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.

Traditions of Bengali new Year

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.

Bengali New Year 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.

The traditional greeting for Bengali New Year is 'Shubho Nabobarsho' which means 'Happy New Year'.

How is Bengali New Year celebrated?

As with other new years' traditions in the region, Bengali families clean their house and decorate them with colourful motifs called alpana. At the center of the alpana pattern, they place a earthen pot, filled with water, covered with mango leaves and marked with the sacred Hindu red and white swastika sign. This is intended to bring good luck and fortune to the household in the coming year. People may also visit their nearby river to say prayers and take a ritual bath.

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