The pomp and colour associated with Pahela Baishakh was absent as people celebrated the event virtually for the second consecutive year amid restrictions imposed to contain the transmission of coronavirus.
The first day of Bangla calendar also saw the country shattering its single-day Covid-19 fatalities record.
With a lockdown in place, festivities and cultural events to mark the Bangla New Year were all held virtually.
Symbolic ‘Mangal Shobhajatra-1428’
The marquee events of the day – the traditional ‘Borsho-Boron’ programme by Chhayanaut and the Mangal Shobhajatra parade by the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University – have all been cancelled.
Both Chhayanaut and FFA broadcast pre-recorded programmes on national TV.
The Faculty of Fine Arts pre-recorded a unique, symbolic Mangal Shobhajatra for 1428 with the participation of the State Minister for Cultural Affairs and fewer than 20 people.
They showcased their banner and 100 prop items made by students and teachers, including face shields and masks in the symbolic procession.
Renowned cultural organisations and institutions including Chhayanaut, the Faculty of Fine Arts, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Liberation War Museum Bangladesh and many others have observed the day with online festivities and programmes.
Chhayanaut had initial plans to arrange and record their programme at the Ramna Park without a live audience at the dawn of April 14, or pre-record the programme before that.
Instead, they broadcast this year’s festivity through a special collaborative programme with Bangladesh Television (BTV) and also on its YouTube channel Chhayanaut Digital - Platform.
Shilpakala Academy also broadcast a live webinar and cultural programme on its official Facebook page and YouTube channel, which was joined by former Cultural Affairs Minister and eminent thespian Asaduzzaman Noor.
Liberation War Museum and Wrishiz Shilpi Goshthi also held online programmes on Facebook on the occasion.
This year, April 14 also marks the first day of the holy month of Ramadan in Bangladesh and some other Muslim countries in the world.
On the occasion, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages greeting the countrymen and all Bangla-speaking people across the globe.
Prime Minister Hasina urged everyone to follow health guidelines and celebrate Pahela Baishakh at home, in the wake of a surge in Covid-19 cases.