Shubho Noboborsho to all my Bengalis and Happy Bengali New Year to everyone!! How awesome is it that we get another New Year’s? It’s like getting another chance to start over. So if you haven’t been good about keeping your resolutions this is your opportunity to start fresh at least that’s what I’m doing.
Pohela Boishakh or Bangla Noboborsho (Bengali New Year) all refers to the same festival. Let’s break down the name “Pohela Boishakh” for all my non-Bengali speakers. In Bengali, Pohela means “first” and Noboborsho means New Year. It is also the beginning of spring for us. April 14 is celebrated in a grand manner in Bangladesh, West Bengal and Bengali communities all over the globe. Some believe the holiday is a result of the Bengali calendar established by Mughal emperor Akbar in the 15th century while others say that it is linked to the harvest festival of Baisakhi. Regardless, this holiday is not focused on religion but it is more about celebrating a new beginning.
The New Year isn’t just about mishti (Bengali sweets) or dressing up in white and red with a red bindi to adorn my face but it’s my way of welcoming a new beginning. This year I have set goals and resolutions for myself. I don’t mean making a goal of losing weight or anything like that but more about making this year about me. No, not in a selfish, fudge the world kind of way but more about really searching for who I am and discovering parts of me I don’t know. This year is about giving up my life as I know it to get a new one and letting go of everything I’m clinging on to that is not quite serving me. It’s about searching for what happiness means to me and what I truly want. It’s about letting go of all bad energy from the previous year, taking them as life lessons and grasping onto positive vibes that will strengthen me as a person. I find it so fortunate that I get a second chance, another New Year to welcome the beginning of anything I want and need. Oh and of course a lot of mishti.
I wish everyone a year full of love, good vibes, bigger goals, adventure, more happiness, less pain, strength, laughter and being more focused that ever on whatever you feel serves you best. Also, don’t forget to try some Bengali delicacies while you’re at it!