Pahela Falgun, Valentine’s Day Intertwine

Flowers, festivities all around

Today is Pahela Falgun, the first day of spring in Bengali Calendar. The Bengali people are set to celebrate the day with flowers, poems, songs and dances as it brings joys and colours both in nature and life. Besides, Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, will also be celebrated today.

The first day of Falgun usually falls on February 13 of the Gregorian calendar, but this year’s spring, the king of all six seasons, falls today. As a result both Pohela Falgun and Valentine's Day will be celebrated simultaneously today, with an additional colour of flowers, poems, songs and dance.

With  bringing back warm sunshine, budding flowers and chirping of birds, nature has already started getting a fresh and colorful look all-around, touching hearts and minds of all ages of people after the long, dark and dry winter months. The blazing red and yellow are the representative colours of Pohela Falgun while white, pink and red are the representative colours of Valentine's Day.

The spring brings joys and colours both in nature and life as new leaves have already started coming out again and nature adorns the branches with new colorful flowers such as Shimul, Polash and Marigold. Unlike most of the countries, which have four seasons, Bangladesh is blessed with six seasons-- Summer, Monsoon, Autumn, Late Autumn, Winter and Spring.

 And the country’s each season is beautiful. But spring is spring. Everything in nature gives an impression of youthfulness or freshness as if nature takes a new birth.  Colorful flowers, melody of birds or mild touch of the sunshine - everything will make you feel that springtime is nature's festival.

Meanwhile, people especially the young across the country are set to welcome and celebrate the day with great joy and love, and in a colourful manner. Girls are dressed in 'bashonti' (yellow or orange) coloured sarees while boys wear colorful punjabis to welcome the arrival of Falgun. Bakultola of the Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University (DU) is the centre point of the festival.

Thousands of young men and women will gather in the morning and celebrate the day singing, reciting poems and dancing. The entire DU campus and the Ekushey Boi Mela premises become the best place to hang out with friends, family members and beloved ones. Jatiya Boshonto Utshab Udjapan Parishad will arrange the main programmes of the day as it has done for around two decades. The parishad will arrange different programmes including songs and recitation of poems except regular programmes.

Besides, different socio-cultural organisations have chalked out various programmes in the capital and elsewhere to celebrate the day. Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, will also be celebrated today Originating as a Western Christian feast day, Valentine's Day is now recognised as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance in many regions around the world.

Both markets and online business pages have become busy in attracting people with alluring offers to buy special gifts or matching clothes for their loved ones, while flower markets are busy stocking red roses for the day. Various programmes by many organisations all over the country have been chalked out to celebrate the day through sharing love, such as with sharing love with street children, concerts, fairs and so on.

Keeping aside the argument whether a dedicated day to celebrate love is needed or not, or should the corporate and consumerist culture take over the day, Valentine's Day has gradually become part of the festivals of the country. And people are all set to celebrate the occasion with special programmes with the ones they love and care for, because love is the thing that makes the world beautiful, be it the love for the partner, for the family, for the country or for the planet.