Poila Boishak 2021

Growing up, I remember Poila Boishak or Bengali New year used to be a grandeur celebration at my Thakurda and Dadu’s Bari! Hailing from a typical Bangaal family, this day was all about family time, gourmet dishes and Rabindra sangeet. Ma made sure she cooked the traditional delicacies. While the whole house was riding their rainbow to dreamland, Ma would wake up at 4 that morning only to cook in calmness. Her love for cooking was (and is) so intense that she used Shil Nora (Sil Batta) to grind and make a paste of spices.

Wearing new clothes and after having offered our prayers, we started our day with Luchi and aloo’r dom. Followed by lavish lunch which had Shutki Bharta (dried fish with overpowering smell), Shorshe Ilish (Hilsa fish prepared in mustard), Chingri maacher malai curry (freshwater prawns cooked in creamy coconut milk curry), Bhetki maacher paturi (fish cooked by wrapping in banana leaf), Daab Chingri (prawns cooked in coconut shell), Jhinge-aloo posto (Ridge gourd-potato cooked with poppy seeds), jhujhure aloo bhaja, tok daal with pulao and aam er chatney. And this is not all! The day had to end with Luchi and Kosha Maangsho. Sweets of course were also preferred after that.

From Kashmir to Kerala and Maharashtra to Manipur, India is celebrating regional New Year festivities this week.

But why are these festivals called New Year?

With the end of winter season and bloom of spring flowers, it is time to reap the harvest. We at heart thank the nature and our agrarian land for the generosity it offers in the form of new crops establishing a powerful link between soil and our kitchen.

Maharashtra & Goa celebrates Gudi Padwa

Karnataka, Telangana & Andhra Pradesh celebrates Ugadi

Kerala celebrates Vishu

Punjab celebrates Vaisakhi

West Bengal & Tripura celebrates Poila Boishak

Tamil Nadu celebrates Puthandu

Assam celebrates Bohag Bihu

Odisha celebrates Pana Sankranthi

Kashmir celebrates Navreh

Manipur celebrates Sajibu Cheiraoba

Amidst the shadow of COVID-19’s second wave this year, many rituals and traditions have been dampened yet our enthusiasm is roaring high. Today, all social media platforms across the nations are watching us celebrate with high fervour.

For To commemorate the day, Bengalis indulge in traditional gourmet dishes.

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