Bangladesh is a nation of celebrations and festivals. With so many religions living in one nation, festivals are very popular among different cultures and societies. With continuous change of economic and social structures, changes in festivals can be witnessed. But some of the festivals that take place in this nation are so deeply rooted with the social culture that they keep continuing from one generation to another. Some of these festivals also come with the mark nationality and community; some come with political impression while some other comes with religious stamp. Festivals that initiated during the ancient society focusing on food are now filled with varieties and colours.
The prime foundations of these festivals are rituals along with most of these rituals are a combination of collective activities. Some rituals are associated with agriculture which was determined by the lunar months. These ancient rituals are the magical procedure mainly focused on taming supernatural powers in the cultures. Other agro-based festivals gradually lost the spontaneity with time and ended up becoming more formal.
Since festivals always have a huge role in the inhabitants of Bangladesh’s lives, therefore the festivals still continued to be a part of them. These are considered as parts and parts of the lives of Bangalee tradition and culture.
Let us check the prime festivals of this nation:
The initiation of the Bengali New Year has always observed immense togetherness among the nation. This is therefore one of the public holidays in Bangladesh. Most of the colorful gathering can be observed in this festival which also comprises of the culture programs along with traditional Panta. Dhaka is meant to see during Pahela Baishakh. You can observe boat races, tournaments and much more in this day among villages and cities. Several fairs can be seen in various towns and villages along with in Dhaka.
Independence Day in Bangladesh is celebrated in 26th March. This is said to be the biggest festival of the nation. The day can be observed in almost all the cities across Bangladesh but the capital city tends to wear a different color in this day. This is definitely a public holiday and on this day the citizens’ wake up very early with booming of guns can be heard on this day. Citizens comprising sociopolitical organizations and government leader along with freedom fighters shows respect to the National Martyr Monument which is located at Savar. Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bangla Academy and various other cultural organizations celebrate this day by holding functions. During the night time, the major public buildings in the capital city are illuminated providing the entire capital a mesmerizing look.
This is a special day which is celebrated across the nation in order to give homage and respect to the sacred souls that lost their lives in the Language movement that took place in 1952. 21st February is considered as the National Mourning Day. On this day, it is said that blood was shed by the people near the Central Shahid Minar. This is the area where Bangla was established as the state language. Other movements comprising of the independence struggle is the origin of this historic language movement.
Shahid Minar is the place for sacrifice where people gave their lives for Bangla – the mother tongue. The day remains closed. Mourning starts in Dhaka from midnight with a song called “Amar vaier raktey rangano ekushay February” which means 21st February is the day stain with the blood from the brothers. People pay respect by placing floral garlands at Shahid Minar. Recently by UNESCO this day has also been declared as the World Mother Language Day.
This is the days when Prophet Muhammad took birth and died as well. He took birth and also gave up on his life on the very same day which is on 12th Rabiul Awal or Lunar Month. This remains national holiday and the national flag is raised on top of the private and public houses along with special foods are provided in hospitals, orphanages and hails as well. During the night time, public buildings are being illuminated following the milad mahfils.
This is not something observed only in Bangladesh but throughout the globe. It is the biggest celebration of Muslins. This is the day that follows Ramadan or month of fasting. In Dhaka, huge people attending worship visits at mosques and also at National Eidgah. The festival is meant to observe and the celebration is huge.
This is the nest most crucial festival among Muslims. The festival is held in the Hajj which is in Mecca on 10th Zilhaj which is the lunar month. Congregations are being held across the nation. Animals are being sacrificed as the reminiscence of the Hazrat Ibrahim’s biggest sacrifice. The day is marked as Hazrat Ibrahim’s sacrificed of his dear son to the Allah. This is celebrated throughout the world and it remains as a public holiday in Bangladesh.
This is the mournful possession held among the Muslim community. A huge possession comes down from Hussaini Dalan Immambara in the memory of Imam Hussain at Kabala (Iraq). Same possessions takes place in different parts of the nation.
This is the biggest celebration or festival among the Hindu community. The festival is popular among the Bengali community throughout the world. The entire festival is dedicated to Goddess Durga on this home coming which continued for ten long days. In the last day, the idol of Goddess is immersed in water with respect, love along with the hope to see Maa Durga soon in the next year. This festival is generally celebrated in Dhakeshwari Temple which includes fair along with various other colorful activities.
Christmas is generally known to the people as the Big Day or “Boro Din”. This is again celebrated in Dhaka along with various other parts of the nation. Various gatherings take place in the St. Mary’s Cathedral which is at Ramna, Church of Bangladesh, Portuguese Church in Tejgaon and Bangladesh Baptist Sangha in the Sadarghat Dhaka. The entire functions comprises of illumination in the churches, tree decoration and various other Christian festivals.
As we all know the world famous laureate Rabindranath Tagore took birth on this day and therefore is celebrated across the world. 25th May (Baishakh) is celebrated as the birth of this famous personality across the country. Also 11th May (Jaystha) is celebrated as the birth of another National Poet, Kazi Nazrul Islam. Coincidentally, death anniversaries are also on the same day. On this day, song sessions and gatherings are held by the socio-cultural organizations.
So these are some of the major festivals celebrated across the country. Undoubtedly each and every festival has its own importance, but people across the nation take part in all of these festivals equally and enjoy the festive mood with joy, new clothes, and delicious foods.