Fairs 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
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
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 Poet.
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