Bangladesh appeared on the world map as an independent and sovereign state on December 16, 1971 following the victory at the War of Liberation with Pakistan, Bangladesh is a member of the United Nations (UN) and its various specialized bodies and agencies including ESCAP. She is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) including their various affiliated organs. Bangladesh, which has a thousand years of recorded history, has a rich and varied cultural heritage, and is well known for its music, poetry and paintings. Bangladesh is a small country with a rich cultural heritage. It is not only the Bangalis (plains people) who have contributed to this culture, but also the several hundred tribal communities of the country who live mainly in the Hill areas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, in the Districts of Dinajpur, Rajshahi, Sylhet and the plains forests in Dhaka, Tangail, Mymensingh and Jamalpur. Historically, Bangladesh has earned the reputation of being at the crossroads of many cultures. The ruins of magnificent cities and monuments left behind in many parts of the country by the vanishing dynasties of rulers still bear testimony to the richness of its cultural heritage. Bangladesh has always been known as a land full of nature’s bounties as evident from the vast expanses of its lush crop fields, borderland hills thickly covered with virgin forests and innumerable rivers and their tributaries, making it the world’s largest delta. Ancient chroniclers have described it as “a land of emerald and silver”, “a garden fit for kings”, or as “a paradise among countries”. It is no wonder then that this country has always attracted settlers, traders, and conquerors who turned the land into a vast melting pot of diverse races and cultures. Despite destruction caused by natural calamities, ever-changing courses of turbulent rivers, heavy high humidity, fast growing vegetation and expanding population, scattered throughout the country are countless ancient monuments and antiquities. Excavations at Paharpur, Vasu-Bihar, Mahasthan, Sitakot, Mainamati, and other ancient sites together with research have greatly helped enrich knowledge about the country’s early history. In the absence of stone in the region, most of the ancient monuments and buildings were built with highly perishable mud, bamboo, reed or timber or with durable burnt bricks and mudmortar. It is, however, no small irony that whatever of these monuments that were spared by nature were vandalized by waves of conquerors and treasure-hunters. Anniversaries, Fairs and Festivals form a vital part in the social life of ordinary Bangladeshis. The biggest religious festival is Eid-ul-Fitr. Other Muslim Festivals include Eid-ul-Azha, Eid-e-Mialdunnabi, Muharram and shab-e-Barat. Widely celebrated festivals of other communities include Durga Puja of the Hindus, Christmas of the Christians and Buddha Purnima of the Buddhists. Among the non-religious anniversaries, Bengali New Year (Pahela Baishakh, on 14 April), Language Martyrs’ Day (on 21 February, now also called International Mother Language Day), Independence and National Day (26 March), National Revolution and Solidarity Day (7 November), and Victory Day (16 December) are celebrated nationwide. FAIRS IN BANGLADESH
Bangla new year procession in the city
Celebrations of Pahela Baisakh started from Emperor Akbar's reign. It was customary to clear up all the year's dues on the last day of Chaitra (the twelfth month of the Bengali calendar). On the following day, or the first day of the new year, landlords would entertain their tenants with sweets. On this occasion fairs used to be organized there. In due course the occasion became part of domestic and social life, and turned into a day of merriment. New year's festivities are closely linked with rural life in Bengal. Usually on the day everything is thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned. People bathe...
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