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Hundreds of Bangladeshis from all walks of life gathered at the UNESCO Palace late last week to usher in the Bengali New Year, in festive style.Pohela Baishakh, Bangla Naboborsho and Naba Barsha are all names that refer to the same New Year festival celebrated by the Bengali community.Emperor Akbar of the Mughal Empire reportedly introduced the Bengali calendar in the year 1556, and the celebration of Bengali New Year began under his rule.Today, the celebration usually held on April 14 is an essential part of Bengali tradition."Halkhata," referring to the opening of the accounting book, is a common tradition practiced by many in the Bengali community during the New Year celebration.Momo and Pema, two Bangladeshi singers, preformed traditional songs and danced in vibrantly colored dresses, as the crowd clapped and whistled enthusiastically, urging them on.
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