Shubho Noboborsho: Bangladesh is celebrating its new year today, i.e. 14 April. As the new calendar year begins, Google has wished the country a happy Pohela Boishakh 1426 with a special doodle. The Google doodle takes a leaf out of the Mangal Shobhajatra when students wearing masks take out a procession on the Bengali new year every year.
Pohela Boishakh is a secular festival of Bangladesh, and is marked by great enthusiasm and fanfare, with people taking out festive processions through the streets singing and dancing to traditional songs and reciting of poems. In capital city Dhaka, thousands of students participate in the Mangal Shobhajatra, wearing colourful masks. Bamboo figures of animals, along with flying birds etc, are carried above the crowd. This particular tradition was started by students of Dhaka University’s Faculty of Fine Art in 1989, which went on to find its name inscribed on the UNESCO list of Intangible Culture Heritage in 2016.
Specially created for Bangladesh users on Pohela Boishakh 1426, today’s animated Google doodle features the Bengal tiger.
Pohela Boishakh or Poila Boishakh is one of the most important festivals for Bengalis across the world. In India, Bengalis celebrated the day as per tithi in the lunisolar calendar. Bangladesh, however, has a April 14 as the fixed date for celebration of the day. In 1966, Bangladesh modified the old Bengali calendar, making the first five months 31 days long and the rest 30 days each, with the month of Falgun adjusted to 31 days every four years. Officially adopted in 1987, the Bangladesh national calendar starts with Pohela Boishakh on 14 April every year.