Pahela Falgun, Valentine’s Day celebrated

Fun-fair, emotion and romanticism turned the Dhaka University campus and its adjacent areas into a human sea on Friday as people, mostly young, celebrated the first day of Pahela Falgun (spring) and Valentine’s Day simultaneously. Wearing yellow, red, white and pink sarees, pajama and panjabi, flower-made ornaments and holding traditional musical soirees, the festival loving young men and women welcomed the spring in a befitting manner.

Besides, it was also a festival of romantic love as many young women and men exchanged roses, greeting cards, letters and other attractive gifts with each other each other to win hearts marking the Valentine’s Day on the same day. Apart from the capital Dhaka, people living in all metropolitan cities, district towns, upazila headquarters and even villages across the country also celebrated the day with great joys and love, and in a colourful manner.

“Colorful flowers, silky breeze, melody of birds and mild touch of the sunshine - everything have made me feel that springtime is the nature's festival. I love it. And I’m enjoying the aroma of flowers and touch of hearts,” a female student of Dhaka University said. As the spring has sprung, the days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and the birds are getting louder The most romanticised bird in literature, the cuckoo’s songs also added a fresh message to the blossom of flowers, new leaves in trees, a breath of fresh air, new feelings, love and emotions.

On the other hand, as on Friday was also a valentine’s day, people mostly young men and women thronged the Dhaka University campus and its adjacent places giving the Ekushey Book Fair an special look with red and white. Like people around the world, city’s young men and women also spent time with each other and exchanged presents on the Valentine’s Day.

Wearing red and white dresses, symbol of valentine day, young men and women passed the whole day since morning to night with their loved ones in Dhaka University campus, Suhrawardy Udyan, Ramna Park and other open spaces in the city. Many young men and women along with their lovers were also seen browsing books at the Ekushey Book Fair.

And they also bought books from the fair and presented them as Valentine’s Day gifts to their beloved ones. Meanwhile, BSS adds; Youths with their animated vigour and colourful mind joined the celebrations of Pahela Falgun, a festival welcoming the advent of spring, on Friday to leave a message to all that love, affection, respect and commitment should be cornerstones of removing all ills and building the nation.

Bangalees mark the spring festival on the first day of Bengali month of Falgun. It is also called Basanta Utsab. It usually falls on February 13 but this year it coincided with Valentine’s Day on February 14 which has also become a major day of celebration to the festival-loving Bangalees especially the youths.

Recently Bangla Academy has revised Bangla Calendar to match it with the Gregorian calendar aimed at observing the significant days in line with the historic background. From now on, the first six months of Bangla year will have 31 days, and the last six months of the year will have a length of 30 days, except for the month Falgun. In that way, Pahela Falgun coincided with Valentine’s Day this year.

Country’s business community is not happy with the Bangla Academy’s move as they think coincidence of the festivals on the same day is cutting their profit. If the festivals were celebrated on separate days, they could have earned more profits. Many youths also did not welcome the Bangla Academy’s decision as they think each calendar could have some unique characteristics and there is no need to make changes.

Though Pahela Falgun was celebrated officially on Friday, a large number of people specially youths celebrated it on Thursday. Clad in yellow sarees and panjabis, a huge crowd thronged the Dhaka University campus which is considered the centre point of the celebration.
City markets were seen overcrowded with purchasers buying colorful panjabees and sarees and other traditional dresses ahead of the festival.

Different brands of garment products, shoes and ornaments are also giving special offer for customers on the eve of the two major festivals. Newspapers also published special supplements for the last couple of days carrying the message of the festival. Clad in yellow attires with brunches of flowers in the hair bun and hands, hundreds of young girls and boys thronged the Bakultala on the premises of Fine Arts Faculty at Dhaka University (DU), the centre point of the festival to celebrate spring, to sing songs, recite poems and dance. Ramna Park, Rabindra Sarobar and Hatirjheel also draw a huge crowd on that day.

The entire DU campus including Teacher-Student Centre (TSC), Arts Faculty, Curzon Hall, University Mall (Mall Chattar) and the compound of Amar Ekeushy Granthamela turned into the best place to hang out with friends, family members and beloved ones on the day. Jatiya Boshonto Utshab Udjapan Parishad arranged the main programme of the day for around two decades.

The parishad is arranging different programmes including rendering songs and recitation of poems except regular programmes. The month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair also drew a huge crowd as the book-loving people would love to visit the fair on the very special day with their friends and family members.

The spring has been depicted as the king of all seasons in poetry for its extra-ordinary beauty of nature. A fter the dryness of winter, new leaves start to come out again and the nature adorns the branches with new colorful flowers like Shimul, Polash and Marigold denoting the message of arrival of spring.

In nature, it is considered that “Krishnachura” flower brings the message of arrival of spring. Famous excerpt of Subhash Mukhopadhyay “Phul phutuk na phutuk, aaj Boshonto” beautifully depicts the advent of Basanta Utsab. “O wind, If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”, a way English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley described the arrival of spring in his famous poem ‘Ode to the West Wind’. Everything in nature gives an impression of youthfulness or freshness as if the nature takes a new birth. Colorful flowers, melody of birds or mild touch of the sunshine – everything will make one feel that springtime is the nature’s festival.