Varanasi: Bengalis around the world are welcoming their new year 1425 today. Bengali New Year or Noboborsho or Poila Baishakh is a special day that also marks the beginning of the Bengali financial year. It is celebrated with full fervour on the first day in the month of Baishakh, according to the lunisolar calendar.
People are spending today by going to the temple in the morning, seeking blessing from God for a good year ahead. Merchants and traders go to temples and conduct special puja at their shops and godowns to pray for prosperity and good fortune.
In fact, most Bengalis visit shops on this day to start a new account for the year ahead and settle old accounts. The practice dates back to the 18th century, when Mughal governor Nawab Murshid Quli Khan had the tradition of Punyaho (a day for ceremonial land-tax collection).
Today is also the perfect day for a Bengali family reunion. Many Bengalis wear new clothes and exchange sweets. Homes are being decorated with rangoli, and mango leaves garlands are put up at the main entrance.
Bengalis are preparing the Nobo Borsho special food where something bitter like shukto is consumed first and finished off with desserts like payesh, rasgullas or malpua. Not to forget the meal is incomplete without fish — be it hilsa, bhetki or prawns.
Cultural performances, indulgent feasts and endless chatter with friends and family, Pohela Baishakh is no less of a carnival for Bengalis.
The Sen Times wishing you all a very Happy Bengali New Year 1425!