Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
#LoveSimaaya These are the words that reverberate in almost all the poets' writings, be it Lord Tennyson or our own Rabindranath Tagore. True that sitting in Bengal we cannot ring the happy bells of welcome across the snow, but we can ring it perhaps in our own ethnic ways. So read on as in this article which talks about how we can maintain our own heritage and at the same time be innovative as well.
The appeal and the glory of Bengal can be well experienced in its various festivals and celebrations. The second-most important of them, right after the Durga puja is perhaps the celebration of the Bengali New Year, or the Poila Baishakh. Baishakh is the first month of the Bengali calendar, and this day, ideally falling on the 14th/15th of April each year, is celebrated with much vivacity and zest.
Nothing is Bengal is complete without a full gusto of celebration, and certainly the New Year would be the best time of all. No one can imagine a Bengali new year to be complete without the vivacious parties, plush Bengali spreads, various types of sweets, exchanging gifts, wearing new dresses, and last but not the least, the cultural programs.
Fashion is a portion of any culture that makes it complete and so to dress up for this day buying clothes that suit the occasion. But this fashion is like the ever flowing river. It changes from time to time on its own course. Bengali fashion has also evolved with time. In our modern pace of life, it is not possible to don a saree or worse still, a dhoti and go for work or even carry on with your daily chores. But, it is not always that we have to “ring out the old to ring in the new". The old can also be remembered in an artful way while ringing in the new. This New Year celebration, or better the Bengali New Year eve parties are perhaps the best time to revive old fashions and take a peek into our cultural heritage. It is not everyday that we get the opportunity to dig out our parents' or grandparents' fashions and adorn them with our own slight touches of modernity.
On a Bengali New Year eve's party, women can go for the retro look with dhakai or taant done albeit in a modern fashion. The traditional look calls for right accessories like big bindis and lots of jewelry that are most of the time locked up in safety vaults. Be a little more adventurous and wear the saree in the Bengali style and hang a bundle of keys from it or a kinkini —a tinkling ornament. Put fresh flowers on your hairs.
Men on such a party can surely complement their ladies in sarees, with a typically retro babu look (of course sans the garland around their wrists or the baiji dances!). A grand embroidered kurta, fashionable dhotis, and designer chappals would do the magic for any man.
But whatever you dress as, remember not to go overboard. Give a dress rehearsal before the party, because no one expects the guests to topple over entangled in their sarees or dhotis, and also choose colors and fabrics that will suit you as well as make you comfortable in the summer. Touch it up with a soft perfume and you are ready to rock the party!