On April 14, India celebrates the beginning of the Solar New Year, while Bengal and Bangladesh celebrate the so-called Bengali New Year. In fact, these two holidays are not so different, despite their names, because both events are to some extent related to the Hindu solar calendar.
During the Mughal period, taxes on harvest were collected according to the Islamic lunar calendar, which often did not coincide with the time of harvest in Bengal. As a result, it was difficult for farmers to cope with the tax burden out of season. Therefore, Emperor Akbar the Great decided to reform the existing calendar and create a new one based on Islamic lunar and Hindu solar calendars. So was created Bengali calendar, which beginning marks on the 14th of April.
In those days, the tradition of celebrating the New Year was born. In Bengali, it was a custom to pay off all debts on the last day of the year. And on the first day of the new year people used to treat each other with sweets and candies. Also on this day, traders and merchants used to start new accounting books and to invite their clients to sign new contracts. This tradition has survived up to our days, because the first day of a year is a very favorable time for all undertakings. By the way, according to the annual tradition, the Bengali community of Great Britain holds a New Year festival on the streets of London, which is the largest Asian festival in Europe and the largest Bengali festival outside of Bengal region.
The team of “Talk of the Town” congratulates everyone on this holiday and wishes you a bright start of the year, and let all your plans be successfully implemented by its end!