Festivals of Bangladesh have always played a significant role in the life of the people of Bangladesh.Those are parts and parcels of Bangalee culture and tradition. These festivals include traditional, cultural, religious and political. It is said that Bangladesh have Baro Mashe Tero Parbon (Thirteen festivals in twelve months). Salient features of the major festivals are given here.
Pahela Baishakh : The advent of Bengali New Year is gaily observed throughout the country ON 14 April. Colorful procession, daylong gatherings along with arrangement of cultural program at and around Ramna Park , Dhaka is a special feature of Pahela Baishakh. Fairs, tournaments, boat races etc. are held in cities and villages amidst jubilation.
21st Feb, the Language Movement Day and World Mother Language Day : 21 February is observed throughout the country to pay homage to the martyrs’ of Language Movement of 1952. Language Movement started to establish Bangla as a state language, when leaders of Pakistan declared Urdu to be the state language. Police fired to control the agitation, where at least four persons died on 21 February 1952 near Dhaka Medical College Hospital .
The Shahid Minar (martyrs monument), erected on the spot of action, is the symbol of sacrifice for Bangla, the mother tongue. Mourning procedure begins at midnight with the song Amar vaier raktay rangano ekushay February (Stained with my brothers’ blood is 21st February) and nation pays homage by placing flora wreaths at the Shahid Minar. The day has been declared World Mother Language Day by UNESCO.
Independence Day : March 26 is the day of Independence of Bangladesh. It is the biggest state festival. This day is most befittingly observed. The citizens of Dhaka wake up early in the morning with the booming of guns heralding the day. Government leaders, sociopolitical organizations, freedom fighters and persons of all ages place floral wreaths at the National Martyrs Monument at Savar. Socio-cultural organizations hold cultural functions. Public buildings are illuminated to give the capital city a dazzling look at night.
Eid-ul-Fitr : 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 all mosques of the country.
Eid-ul-Azha : Eid-ul-Azha 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.
Eid-e-Miladunnabi : Eid-e-Miladunnabi is the birth and death day of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He was born and died the same day on 12th Rabiul Awal (Lunar Month). National flag is flown atop public and private houses and special food is served in orphanages, hospitals and jails. At night public buildings are illuminated and religious function are held.
Muharram : 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 all over the country.
Durga Puja : 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.
Buddha Purnima : It is observed by the Buddhist community of the country, like all over the world. It is observed on the three full moon days of April, June and September.
Christmas : Christmas, popularly called “Bara Din (Big Day)”, is celebrated 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 on Johnson Road and Bangladesh Baptist Sangha at Sadarghat Dhaka. Functions include illumination of churches, decorating Christmas tree and other Christian festivities.
Rabindra & Nazrul Jayanti : Birth anniversary of the noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore on 25th Baishakh (8 May) and that of the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam on 11th Jaystha (27 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. Rabindra Nath Tagore is the writer of our national anthem while National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam is famous as Rebel Poet.m r