Pahela Baishakh  first day of the Bangla year. Pahela Baishakh is celebrated in a festive manner in both Bangladesh and West Bengal. In Bangladesh Pahela Baishakh is a national holiday. Pahela Baisakh falls on April 14 or 15.

Under the Mughals, agricultural taxes were collected according to the Hijri calendar. However, as the Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar, the agricultural year does not coincide with the fiscal. As a result, farmers were hard-pressed to pay taxes out of season. In order to streamline tax collection, the Mughal Emperor akbar ordered a reform of the calendar. Accordingly, Fatehullah Shirazi, a renowned scholar and astronomer, formulated the Bangla year on the basis of the lunar Hijri and Bangla solar calendars. The new Fasli San (agricultural year) was introduced on 10/11 March 1584, but was dated from Akbar’s ascension to the throne in 1556. The new year subsequently became known as bangabda or Bengali year. Continue reading

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