Bengali New Year or Poyela Boishakh is the first day of the Bengali calendar, celebrated in both Bangladesh and West Bengal, and in Bengali communities in Assam and Tripura. It coincides with the New Year's Days of numerous Southern Asian calendars.
The first sunrise on Thursday rang in Bengali New Year' 1418 as people in their hundreds of thousands began celebrating the event with colourful festivity.
Deferent cultural organizations started traditional cultural programmes, rally and Fair or Carnivals from 6:15am at the city's Ramna and Dhaka University Area on First Day of Bangla Calendar Month Boishakh. Ramna, Dhaka, Bangladesh. 14/04/2011.
The traditional colourful procession, known as 'Mongol Shobha Jatra' ( Traditional Rally), was taken from Bangla Academy premises by the past and current students of the Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka University.
The institute coined the slogan "Welcoming Truth, Beauty and Freedom" for this year's celebrations.
Out of several floats, a 40-foot crocodile, portraying Bangladesh's 40 years, was just one of the many tableaux forming part of the procession, allegorically demanding war crimes trials 40 years after independence.
A crocodile, with lifeless bodies, raped women and blood-soaked human heads in its stomach, with a band of young men on its back trying to subdue it with spears.
Apart from the university students, residents of Dhaka participated in the procession.
Folk songs and 'Jatra' (a traditional stage drama) also featured during the celebrations in the day.
Although celebrations put on new shades every year, the traditional fervour and gaiety is never lost in the razzle-dazzle, with people from all walks of life taking part in the festivities.
The occasion is being observed at many other sites elsewhere in the city.
Tight security measures have been taken to keep law and order. A total of 33,000 law enforcers are on sharp vigil in the city.
Road traffic between Bangla Motor intersection and Matsya Bhaban has been suspended while several adjacent roads were also closed to traffic.
Pahela Baishakh can be traced back to its origins during the Mughal period when Emperor Akbar introduced the Bangla calendar to streamline tax collection. In the course of time, it became a part and parcel of Bangali culture and tradition.
The name 'Baishakh' is derived from the name of a star 'Bishakha'.