Kolkata: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee began her day by offering Puja at Kalighat temple in the wee hours of Sunday on the occasion of Poila Baisakh amidst tight security. She also wished the people a very happy and prosperous Bengali New Year on Twitter.
The Chief Minister extended her greeting to the people of Bengal and sent across a message of peace and prosperity. Many enthusiastic people were happy after seeing the Chief Minister outside the temple.
People across the state on Sunday celebrated 'Poila Baisakh', the Bengali New Year, with great gusto and fervour, with many thronging temples and offering their puja.
Amidst immense joy and festive fervour, the Bengali community celebrated the auspicious first day of the Bengali calendar. People wore new dresses and started thronging various temples from early Sunday morning.
The grand festival coincides with the other regional festivals like Bohag Bihu in Assam, Vishu in Kerala and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu. Many prayed to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi for blessings to ensure prosperity and success.
Many Bengali traders purchased new accounting books and offered puja at the temples. The accounting in the halkhata begins only after offering puja.
Devotees seek blessings of the almighty on the first day of the Bengali New Year. Mantras are chanted while puja is offered before the deities. "Hindu swastika" is drawn on the accounting books by the priests.
Long queues of devotees were found in front of the Kalighat and Dakshineshwar, Tarapith and Tarakeswar temple from late night. Thousands of devotees thronged Kalighat temple and Dakshineswar Kali temple, seeking blessings for prosperity.
Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee also offered his prayer at Dakshineswar temple. He said that he is a great worshipper of Goddess Kali. On the first day of the Bengali New year, the MP became emotional while offering prayer to the deity.
In various places of the city and state, people took out Prabhat Pheris, while children took part in various cultural programmes, clad in new attire.
State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay also took part in a Prabhat Pheri, in his own constituency area in Rashbehari. Rallies were taken out in various places in Jadavpur and Ultadanga.
Apart from Bengal, the Bengali New year is also celebrated by the people in Bangladesh and among Bengali communities in other states.
People, particularly the traders, had hectic activities in Chaitro, being the last month of the Bengali calendar.
They remain busy with huge pressure of purchase, with many organising Chaitro sales to attract customers with discounts.
Long queues were seen in front of restaurants serving Bengali delicacies on this special day. Several Bengali restaurants have rolled out various special dishes to cater to the demands of people.