Spring and yellow
After months of being bare of their cloaks of green, the trees are finally able to put on their brand new outfits for the year. Nature wakes up from its slumber and pumps life into the surroundings. Birds seem to be singing happier songs. Flowers bloom and the gardens once again become colourful. The queen bee builds herself a new abode. The sun smiles broadly and the biting winter waves finally bid farewell. The time of the year when people welcome life with a freshened enthusiasm: spring.
In our country, the month of Falgun marks the arrival of Bashanta. And the people welcome it with as much fervour and eagerness as Mother Nature. While Mother Nature is getting busy in colouring everything with different hues of green, yellow, red and so many more colours, people get busy in celebrations to welcome the new warmth.
People shed their multiple layers of clothing and do not cower against the harsh winter waves anymore. One will know that spring has arrived in our country from all the yellow around them. And the yellow is not due to the courtesy of the new blooming flowers only; it is also because of our age old tradition of donning yellow on the first day of Falgun.
Yellow seems to be an important part of spring here. One could say that spring and yellow are synonymous. It is almost like spring without yellow is no spring at all. One may ask why.
Maybe it is because of years of tradition. Then again maybe it is because yellow is the colour of the sun and one can associate it with a new beginning like the beginning of a new day after the night. Be it a yellow sari, a yellow kameez or a yellow flower in their hair or wrapped around their wrists, Bangladeshi women make it a point to have a new yellow garment or accessory for the first day of spring.
The men do not fall behind either. They do not miss the chance of raiding the shops or their wardrobes for a nice yellow panjabi or a panjabi of a lighter colour if they consider yellow to be too loud.
In Dhaka, Pohela Falgun is celebrated with much zeal, especially at the University of Dhaka. Young girls and boys clad in yellow attires throng the campus to be a part of the song and dance performances and other entertainment arrangements like fairs; here, girls can be seen trying on bangles of different cheery shades.
With song and dance programs, cultural institutions all over the country usher spring. One song that is definitely performed at every programme is the evergreen Tagore number 'ore bhai fagun legeche bon e bon e'.
Even youngsters who are not so keen on visiting these cultural events or wearing traditional outfits celebrate this new beginning in their own way. Maybe with a yellow t-shirt on or a yellow dress, girls and boys celebrate this long awaited warm spring day with as much joy.
All in all Pohela Falgun -- the first day of spring -- is one of the most awaited days for Bangladeshis when they celebrate it hoping for a better year and a better beginning ahead. Be it rich or poor everybody in Bangladesh celebrates the advent of spring with delight. One may ask how they would know that. They would find their answer in the yellow Gada flower stuck behind the ear of the little street girls skipping around on the street.
By Karishma Ameen
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Makeup and hair style: Farzana Shakil
Wardrobe and jewellery: Chondon
The onset of spring provides the perfect license to flaunt bright, refreshing yellows without any reservations about being too loud or showy. This season we suggest, nay insist, that you make use of this excuse to invest in wearable forms of the colour of friendship. Because the mercury has risen, you would do well to opt for materials that let your skin breathe such as light cottons or taats in bright, but soothing, yellows accentuated by contrasting pinks, blues and greens for that added rush of colour. Team your saris with interesting sleeveless blouses in batik or single-toned materials. Accessories can include subtle ethnic jewellery, small teeps and glass or plastic bangles in complementary hues.