Monday 27 June 2022 ,
Latest News
13 April, 2018 00:00 00 AM

Print

Boishakhi Mela

By Bipul K Debnath
Boishakhi Mela

Boishakhi Mela, a traditional village fair celebrating the Bengali New Year, is now gaining popularity in towns and cities across the country. And through such fairs, the young generation is getting the opportunity to know about our heritage and culture, while the older ones get the chance to relive their childhood amusements.

Once, Boishakhi Mela was arranged on Chaitra Sankranti, which marks the last day of the Bengali calendar. Boishakhi Mela has now become an important part of welcoming Pohela Boishakh, the first day of the Bengali year that falls on April 14. In general, it used to be a month-long fair, but its nature has changed over the years.

The fairs were mainly arranged in villages where vendors and artisans sold various types of traditional products, including handmade sweets and pies, seasonal fruits and vegetables, handloom sarees, glass bangles, bamboo flutes, clay dolls and local handicrafts. There were also various entertainments, including circus, puppet show, jatra (folk theatre) and palagan (singing in chorus). Nowadays, all sorts of branded consumer items, fast foods and pop songs can be found alongside traditional items.   

Actually, Boishakh, the first month of the Bengali calendar, is traditionally a festive month as new crops are harvested and businesses open new account books. It is a centuries-old tradition for people to arrange fairs in villages, and now people living in urban areas are also getting the opportunity to enjoy the festivities.

Some places famous for arranging Boishakhi Mela are Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Manikganj, Savar, Rangpur, Fulchhari Ghat in Dinajpur, Langolkot in Cumilla, Maheshpur in Jhenaidah, Khulna, Mymensingh, Chapainawabganj, Tangail, Jaflong in Sylhet, Barishal, Gopalganj, Madaripur, and Shatgumbaj Mosque area of Bagerhat. The name of the fair differs from district to district, in some areas it is known as Barshabaran Mela or Nababarsha Mela.

In Dhaka, Bangla Academy and Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) have been organising a 10-day Boishakhi Mela as part of Bengali New Year celebrations since 1978.

“Boishakhi Mela is an important part of celebrating Pohela Boishakh in our country. It represents our tradition. It also highlights our cultural heritage. So, we arrange it in association with BSCIC every year on our premises,” said Anwar Hossain, secretary of Bangla Academy.

According to Hossain, some renowned personalities were involved in arranging the fair in the capital at the very beginning. “The first Boishakhi mela was held at Bangla Academy in 1978 with the help of a literary journal named ‘Samakal’ and BSCIC. Famous artist Quamrul Hassan inaugurated the event by playing the drum, while prominent folklorist Shamsuzzaman Khan (now director general of Bangla Academy) was also present,” he added.

Regarding this year’s fair, Monowara Khatun, chief designer at the Design Centre of BSCIC, said: “We arrange many fairs around the year and Boishakhi Mela is one of them. Mainly, we help new entrepreneurs to promote their products by participating in our fair. The fair starts on Pohela Boishakh and continues until the 10th of Boishakh (April 14 to 24). It is open for all visitors from 10am to 8pm every day.”

“The entrepreneurs will decorate their stalls with showpieces made of bamboo and cane. There will be brass jewellery, nakshi kantha (embroidered quilts), decorative masks, hand-printed or embroidered bed sheets and cushion covers, table lamps, jewellery, various types of bangles, mother-of-pearl (nacre) items, bamboo flutes and drums, jamdani sarees, jute and cotton handicrafts, clay toys, and other traditional products in their stalls,” Khatun, who is also a member of the fair organisation committee, continued.

“There will be various types of traditional food items, including muri (puffed rice), khoi (popped rice), kadma (a candy made of sugar), and homemade dishes at the fair. Another important attraction will be the ‘bioscope’ (old movie projector). Most city children are not familiar with this tradition. So, we hope many children will come to enjoy it. A nagordola (wooden Ferris wheel) will also be there,” Khatun added.   

Besides the Bangla Academy, Ramna Batamul, a traditional venue for Pohela Boishakh functions inside Ramna Park, is another popular place for Boishakhi Mela, where vendors sell traditional foods and handicrafts in makeshift stalls for the thousands of revellers who throng the city’s Shahbagh area to welcome the Bengali New Year. Some other areas in the city also arrange their own fairs, arranged by local residents, like in Dhanmondi, Banani and Uttara. n

Photos: Courtesy.

Comments

Poll
Today's Question »
State minister for power Nasrul Hamid yesterday said everyone to have access to electricity by June. Do you think the feat achievable by the timeframe?
 Yes
 No
 No Comment
Yes 47.3%
No 48.7%
No Comment 4.1%
Most Viewed
E-Paper

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting