Bright festival ushers in spring at Dhaka University’s Bakultala

The Jatiya Bosonto Utsab Udjapon Parishad organised the spring festival where artists from over ten organisations performed

Staff Correspondent
Published : 14 Feb 2024, 10:01 AM
Updated : 14 Feb 2024, 10:01 AM

Drums rang out to welcome spring, known as the king of seasons in Bangladesh, at Bakultala in the Dhaka University Faculty of Fine Art.

Singers, dancers, and musicians joined the celebrations to usher in the season on Wednesday, the first day of spring on the Bengali calendar.

People from all walks of life, cultural activists and youths took part in the festivities.

Women wore saffron sarees with flowers in their hair or tied on their wrists. Men adorned themselves with yellow panjabis. Some, including foreign visitors, had their faces painted in the various colours of traditional alpona designs.

The Jatiya Bosonto Utsab Udjapon Parishad, a spring festival celebration group, organised the programme at the Faculty of Fine Art in Dhaka University. Artists from over ten organisations took part in the event.

As every year, the festivities kicked off with instrumental music.

Artist Jyoti Bandopadhyay played the melodious “Basata Mukhari” raag on sitar to launch an event packed with music, dance, recitation and elocution performances.

“It's basically a festival of unity. We have been celebrating the festival in the city for many years. The festival celebration group just gave it an official form. This year, the event coincided with Valentine’s Day. We are welcoming the spring by celebrating both festivals,” said Manjar Chowdhury Sweet, general secretary of the Jatiya Bosonto Utsab Udjapon Parishad.

In his speech, Sweet recalled late poet Shamsur Rahman, musician Waheedul Haque, actor Aly Zaker, recitation artist Kazi Arif, and other notable cultural personalities who had passed away.

“We dream of building a secular Bangladesh through this festival. The country we wanted during the Liberation War is a Bangladesh for all people. We will build a Bangladesh of equality, moving past divisions of caste and creed. Those are our hopes for the festival. Let the radiant light of spring touch us all."

Kajal Debnath, vice president of the festival committee, said the event aims to bring a touch of the spring found in nature to life in the city. He also hoped the event would spread nationwide.

Artistes from Bhabna, Dhriti, Nrityam, Bonhishikha, Nrityakshya, Spandan, and Kathak Nritya Sampradaya performed dances at the festival. Singers Anima Mukti Gomez, Biman Chandra Biswas and Bulbul Ahmed gave solo performances.

The first phase of the daylong event came to an end with a procession from Dhaka University’s TSC to the Faculty of Fine Art. The second phase of the event will start at 3:30 pm with performances by the artists of Bengal Music.

Cultural programmes were also arranged at the Bahadur Shah Park in Old Dhaka and at the playground adjacent to the lake in Uttara's Diabari.