Today’s Doodle celebrates Pohela Boishakh, the day when colorful street festivals mark the start of a new year in the lunisolar calendar. The calendar was originally commissioned by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar, who introduced the calendar to facilitate tax collections in the spring—just after the harvest.
Pohela Boishakh is a time to start fresh. People often celebrate by cleaning their entire home and decorating it with Alpana, a colorful painting made from rice and flour paste. The holiday is best known for its colorful celebrations and parades, like the one that takes place in Dhaka, (the capital of Bangladesh) every year.
In Dhaka, streets are filled with people who come to take part in the Mangal Shobhajatra procession. The procession was first organized in 1989 by the Faculty of Fine Arts at Dhaka University in order to symbolize peace and unity regardless of religion, gender, class, or age. The most iconic feature of the processions are the giant, colorful, representations of animals—like the elephant in today’s Doodle!
Shubho Noboborsho! (Happy New Year!)