POHELA BOISHAKH

In Bengal, the Bengali New Year, or Noboborsho, is celebrated in April. Called Poila Boishakh or Pohela Boishakh, the day is celebrated with great enthusiasm by Bengalis across the country and abroad.

History behind Pohela Boishakh

 

As a part of ritual Bengali people visit temple every Pohela Boishakh, starting the year on an auspicious note. The one-of-its-kind calendar had been introduced by Emperor Akbar is an amalgamation of the lunar Islamic calendar and the solar Hindu calendar.

 

During Akbar rule revenues were largely dependent on agriculture, and the taxes were collected according to the Islamic Hijri calendar. However, while harvest season would have been the apt time for collecting taxes, the Hijri calendar did not coincide with the seasons and the harvest time, making it difficult for farmers to pay up.

 

Akbar then asked Fathullah Shirazi, his royal astronomer, to merge the Islamic calendar with the solar Hindu calendar and make a harvest calendar.

 

Based on the traditional Bengali calendar, the new calendar facilitated tax collection after the spring harvest on the first day of the year i.e. Pohela Boishakh.

 

Developed by King Shoshangko of Gour, the original Bengali calendar started from 593 CE, and hence the Bengali year is 593 years less than the Gregorian calendar.

 

The Bengali calendar remains tied to the Hindu calendar system, and Poila Boishakh falls either on 14 or 15 April every year.