It is probably fair to say that the university campuses live the spirit of Pahela Baishakh more than the rest of the country. With the Bangla year 1424 edging towards its end, the colour-yearning Bangalee minds are eager for the beginning of 1425, which ushers in new hopes and new dreams. And the public universities, as always, are ready to welcome the Bangla new year with a host of colourful programmes.
A significant feature of the celebrations on these campuses is that they are very welcoming, letting even the outsiders join them in the programmes marking the Pahela Baishakh.
Let us have a look at the colourful events the universities have chalked up for the Baishakh.
Prothom Alo Bandhushava's Jahangirnagar University unit will celebrate the first day of the Bangla new year with a unique humanitarian programme.
They will offer free lunch to the street children on the day.
“We will participate in the Mangal Shobhajatra (the traditional parade) and then have lunch with the street children. We will spend the day with them and have fun,” said Taufiqur Rahman, general secretary of JU Bandhushava.
The university's fine arts department has their routine plans for Pahela Baishakh like every year, said our correspondent at JU.
The department will bring out the Mangal Shobhajatra at dawn where thousands will participate as the new year begins.
MM Maizuddin, the chairman of JU’s fine arts department, told Prothom Alo, the students will make replicas of water lilies in red and white as symbols of free thinking.
“There will be replicas of horses that symbolise invincible progress, the Royal Bengal Tiger, boats and much more,” said the chairman.
Other departments of the university will also organise Baishakhi fairs and cultural programmes to mark the day.
Rajshahi University students will bring out the Mangal Shobhajatra and stage cultural programmes throughout the day on Pahela Baishakh.
The rally will march to the beats of drums, with festoons, masks and replicas of flowers, birds and more.
The mascot of the rally will be pigeons, a symbol of peace, and the bull, a symbol of rebellion, the organisers told Prothom Alo's RU correspondent on Saturday.
Almost all the departments of RU will arrange different events before the Mangal Shobhajatra. For instance, the management department will organise an event of Baul songs (mystic folk songs).
Students will stage an open-air jatra (folk opera) titled ‘Kashem Malar Prem’ besides holding a ‘puthi path’ (recitation of folk verses).
Mymensingh Agricultural University
BAU students will bring out the Mangal Shobhajatra from the Dhumketu Club at 7:00am in the morning. It will end at Baishakhi Square near the river Brahmaputra.
Various cultural groups will take part in a kite festival on the campus while the Baishakh celebrations will feature processions with colourful masks, traditional motifs (alpana) painted on the roads, carnival floats and mascots, according to the BAU correspondent.
A cultural programme will be organised at the Zainul Abedin auditorium in the evening.
Jagannath University has chosen jackfruit, the national fruit, as its theme for this year's celebrations.
The theatre department will organise an art exhibition while a palagaan (interactive folk song) titled 'Komola Ranir Dighi' will also be staged.
The Khulna University students will bring out a Mangal Shobhajatra at 8:00am. A Baishakhi Mela (fair) will also be organised on the campus, said the Khulna correspondent.
The university's fine arts department will organise many events to celebrate the day, including magic shows.