The Bengali New Year or Poila Baisakh is the first day of the Bengali Calendar, celebrated with processions, fairs, family time, and lots of sweet. It’s celebrated on 14th April in West Bengal, India and as a National holiday in Bangladesh.
Traditional Bengali New Year celebrations include wearing new clothes, sharing sweets and pleasantries with friends and family, touching feet of elders to seek blessings for the upcoming year and go with parents to do “haal khata”.
Before shopping malls took over us, your neighborhood shopkeepers will invite you to close your old accounts and start a new one on the auspicious day of Poila Baisakh. But most Bengalis now prefer to celebrate this day with music and dance. So, if you want to celebrate this Bengali New year’s day a little differently then you are in right place.
1. Gift a plant, gift a life!
At this age of global warming and what not that’s affecting our planet’s temperature adversely, we should plant more greenery around us to make amends to our ignorant mistakes. Not only these little plants will give you the gift of clean air, they will lighten up your home instantly and make for a unique gift appropriate for every occasion.
2. Gift new clothes to underprivileged kids
Many of us don’t restrict ourselves to only special occasions to purchase new clothes. Instead we buy throughout the year. In its place you can bring a smile on faces of underprivileged kids in any orphanage by gifting them some new clothes and make them feel special even if it’s for one day.
3. Try to cook a dish at home that will bring your childhood memories flooding in
Most of us who are staying away from home due to studies or work, always find an excuse to ditch food prepared in our PGs or cooked by our maids. So, this year, you can make your Bengali New Year more special by trying to cook a Bengali or any other dish that you like, at home that reminds you of your mother’s dish.
If you are confused about which dish to prepare then check out this amazing Poila Baishak recipes to get some inspiration.
4. Disconnect from your Social Media accounts for a day
We all are guilty of doing certain stuffs on festivals or special occasions only to be able to take tons of photos of and post it in our Social Media accounts. Like wearing Saree for any office function or baking a cupcake for no reason at all and post about it on our Social platforms right away. This Bengali New Year, you can keep your phones aside and just enjoy the day old fashioned way. You can cook, visit your relatives and do tons of other stuffs without posting about it online.
5. Visit someone’s home to exchange sweets and pleasantries like good old days
Working 5 days in a week hardly leave us with enough time or energy to do other things on weekends like visiting relatives or whatever you don’t have time for. Take this opportunity, to visit someone’s house to share sweets and pleasantries like your childhood days when you parents would take you forcefully even when you want to just play at home. In this way, you can still be connected and create great memories like your childhood days.
If any of these things appeal to you, go ahead and celebrate this Bengali New Year’s day in a different way. Share with me your childhood stories of Poila Baisakh and how you celebrated this year. And yes, don’t forget to wish your Bengali friends “Subho Nabo Barsho!” (Happy New Year!) on Poila Baisakh!
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