About Naba-Barsha :: Folkfairs on Naba-Barsha :: The origin of Naba-Barsha


Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP)


Pahela Baishakh
irst day of Bangla Calendar Year

Pahela Baishakh is indeed a momentous occasion in the life of each and every Bengalee. It is the first day of Bangla calendar year.

It is popularly known as Bangla Saal today saw the light of day through an ordinance promulgated by Akbar the Great, the renowned grandson of Zahiruddin Muhammad Babar. It was to immortalise a momentous occasion, a crucial juncture of history that the great Moghul introduced this new system of calendar 417 years ago. The calendar so introduced was originally known as Tarikh-e-Elahi and it was introduced on the 10th or the 11th March in the 29th year of Akbar’s reign i.e. in 1585 A. D. It however, dates from the day of Akbar’s ascension to the throne of Delhi and commemorates his coronation as the Emperor of Indian in 1556.

It was the greatest achievement in Akbar’s chequered life and undoubtedly one of the greatest events in the Moghul history. It was to glorify and immortalise the historic event and also to facilitate the collection of revenue during harvest in a more systematic way that Akbar the Great introduced Tarikh-e-Elahi from the 10th of Rabiul Awal in 963 A.H.

The months of the new Bengali Era (or Tarikh-e-Elahi) were initially known as Karwadin, Ardi, "Vihisu, Khordad, Teer, Amardad, Shahriar, Aban, Azur, Dai, Baham and Iskander Miz. Nobody knows for sure how and when we started naming the months as Baishakh, Jaishtha, etc. It is presumed that these months, based on the names of the stars, were derived from the Shakabda which was introduced in 78 A.D. to commemorate the reign of the Shaka dynasty in this subcontinent. The starbased names of the months were derived as follows:

Baishakh from the star known as Bishakh, 2) Jiashthya from Jaishtha, 3) Ashara from Shar. 4) Sraban from Srabani, 5) Bhadra from Bhadrapada, 6) Ashw-in from Aswaini, 7) Kartik from Kartika, 8) Agrahayon from Agraihon. 9) Poush from Poushya, 10) Magh from Magha, 11) Falgun from Falguni, and 12) Chaitra from Chitra stars.

The system of celebrating Nababarsha or Pahela Baishakh (Ist of Baishak) was also introduced by Akbar the Great." after introducing Tarikh-e-Elahi, he abolished the hitherto practised Muslim festivals and replaced them by 14 new Festivals, one of which was Nawroze or the celebration of the New Year’s Day.