and festivals have always played a significant
role in the life of the citizens of this country.
They derive from them a great amount of joy, entertainment
and color for life. While most of the festivals
have sprung from religious rituals, the fairs
have their roots in the very heart of the people,
irrespective of religion, caste or creed.
The advent of Bengali New Year is gaily
observed throughout the country. The Day (mid-April)
is a public holiday. Most colorful daylong gatherings
along with arrangement of cultural program and
traditional Panta at Ramna Park, is a special
feature of Pahela Baishakh. Tournaments, boat
races etc. are held in cities and villages amidst
great jubilation. Many fairs are held in Dhaka
and other towns and villages.
March 26 is the day of Independence
of Bangladesh. It is the biggest state festival.
This day is most befittingly observed and the
capital wears a festive look. It is a public holiday.
The citizens of Dhaka wake up early in the morning
with the booming of guns heralding the day. Citizens
including government leaders and sociopolitical
organizations and freedom fighters place floral
wreaths at the National Martyrs Monument at Savar.
Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy
and other socio-cultural organizations hold cultural
functions. At night the main public buildings
are tastefully illuminated to give the capital
city a dazzling look. Similar functions are arranged
in other parts of the country.
21st Feb, the National
Mourning Day and World Mother Language Day
21 February is observed throughout
the country to pay respect and homage to the sacred
souls of the martyrs' of Language Movement of
1952. Blood was shed on this day at the Central
Shahid Minar (near Dhaka Medical College Hospital)
area to establish Bangla as a state language of
the then Pakistan. All subsequent movements including
struggle for independence owe their origin to
the historic language movement. The Shahid Minar
(martyrs monument) is the symbol of sacrifice
for Bangla, the mother tongue. The day is closed
holiday. Mourning procedure begin in Dhaka at
midnight with the song Amar vaier raktay rangano
ekushay February (21st February, the day stained
with my brothers' blood). Nationals pay homage
to the martyrs by placing flora wreaths at the
Shahid Minar. Very recently the day has been declared
World Mother Language Day by UNESCO.
Eid-e-Miladunnabi is the birth and
death day of Prophet Muhammad (s). He was born
and died the same day on 12th Rabiul Awal (Lunar
Month). The day is national holiday, national
flag is flown atop public and private houses and
special food is served in orphanages, hospitals
and jails. At night important public buildings
are illuminated and milad mahfils are held.
The biggest Muslim festival observed
throughout the world. This is held on the day
following the Ramadan or the month of fasting.
In Dhaka big congregations are held at the National
Eidgah and many mosques.
Second biggest festival of the Muslims.
It is held marking the Hajj in Mecca on the 10th
Zilhaj, the lunar month. Eid congregations are
held throughout the country. Animals are sacrificed
in reminiscence of Hazrat Ibrahim's (AM) preparedness
for the supreme sacrifice of his beloved son to
Allah. It is a public holiday.
Muharram procession is a ceremonial
mournful procession of Muslim community. A large
procession is brought out from the Hussaini Dalan
Imambara on 10th Muharram in memory of the tragic
martyrdom of Imam Hussain (RA) on this day at
Karbala in Iraq. Same observations are made elsewhere
in the country.
Durga Puja, the biggest festival of
the Hindu community continues for ten days, the
last three days being culmination with the idol
immersed in rivers. In Dhaka the big celebrations
are held at Dhakeswari Temple, where a fair is
also held and at the Ram Krishna Mission.
Christmas, popularly called "Bara
Din (Big Day)", is celebrated with pomp in
Dhaka and elsewhere in the country. Several day-long
large gatherings are held at St. Mary's Cathedral
at Ramna, Portuguese Church at Tejgaon, Church
of Bangladesh (Protestant) on Johnson Road and
Bangladesh Baptist Sangha at Sadarghat Dhaka.
Functions include illumination of churches, decorating
Christmas tree and other Christian festivities.
Rabindra & Nazrul
Birth anniversary of the noble laureate
Rabindranath Tagore on 25th Baishakh (May) and
that of the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam on
11th Jaystha (May) are observed throughout the
country. Their death anniversaries are also marked
in the same way. Big gatherings and song sessions
organized by socio-cultural organizations are
salient features of the observance of the days.
Tagore is the writer of our national anthem while
National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam is famous as Rebel
At a place near Sonargaon (about 27
km. from Dhaka) a very attractive festival observed
by the Hindu Community every year on the last
day of Chaittra (last Bengali month) - mid April,
when the devotees take religious bath in the river.
There are various other festivals that are habitually
observed by Bangalees all the year round.