Pochishe Boishakh 2019: Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel laureate Bengali polymath who gave a new shaped to the Bengali art and culture scene, was born on 7 May, 1861, all records will tell you. However, Bengalis across the world, and Bengali literature enthusiasts, still look up on the calendar every year to confirm the date. And this is because Bengalis celebrate Rabindra Jayanti 2019 on Pochishe Boishakh, 25th day of the first Bengali month of Boishakh, and 25th Boishakh rarely coincides with May 7.
Let us explain a little.
According to English calendar, Rabnindranath Tagore was born on 7 May, 1861 — to Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi at their Jorasanko mansion in Kolkata. It was Bengali year 1268, and the corresponding day and month were 25th of Boishakh.
In West Bengal, 25 Boishakh, spoken “Pochishe Boishakh” by the Bengalis, is synonymous to Rabindra Jayanti. The day overlaps with either 8 May or 9 May on the Gregorian calendar every year, but Bengal continues to celebrate Rabindra Jayanti on Pochishe Boishakh.
Other states, however, officially observe Rabindranath Tagore’s birth anniversary on 7 May, as per the Gregorian calendar. In West Bengal and Tripura, banks also remain closed for Rabindra Jayanti on May 7.
For Bengalis, and Tagore enthusiasts, 25 Boishakh holds special significance and they associate a special sentiment with the day. There is in fact a special song sung on this day, referred to by many as “the Pochishe Boishakh song”. Penned and set to tune by Tagore himself, the song, He Nuton, celebrates Tagore’s love for life.