Bengal embraces New Year

Kolkata, April 15 (IANS) Devotees thronged the temples of goddess Kali at Kalighat and Dakshineshwar and people greeted each other with sweets as West Bengal ushered in the Bengali new year 1420.

The calendar, or Bangabda, was promulgated in 1584 AD by Mughal emperor Akbar.

Thousands thronged places like Dakhineshwar and Kalighat in Kolkata to offer prayers to goddess Kali, and seek her blessings for a new and better start to the new year.

This day also marks the beginning of the new financial year for traders and businessmen, who open new account books. This ceremony is known as the ‘haal khata’ ceremony.

Stringed fresh lemons and chillies were put up at the gates of shops and business houses, to shoo away evil spirits.

Shopkeepers welcomed customers with sweets and Bengali calendars.

Fish preparations like ‘Daab Chingri’ (prawn with coconut), ‘mourola mach ar lau’ (gourd with fish) and ‘koi macher jhal’ (koi with chillies) are among the favourite dishes of the Bangalis.

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