& Festivals of Bangladesh
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, Dhaka 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
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
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
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
Rabindra & Nazrul Jayanti
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.