Ambassador Sripria Ranganathan of the Republic of Bangladesh in Seoul said, “Thousands of people visit the Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) everyday from all parts of the world as well as from within Bangladesh with enthusiasm and smiles to find the desired products and commodities.”
This statement was made by Ambassador Ranganathan at a recent interview with The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985. The following are the details of information concerning the Fair learned in the process of interview with Ambassador Ranganathan:
Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) on January 1-31:
Thousands of visitors every day from home and abroad in color and festivity rambles the fairground with smiles and enthusiasm to find the desired products or commodities in the hundreds of pavilions of foreign and local companies in the Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF)— the largest trade exhibition and fair in Bangladesh since 1995.
It is a month-long annual trade fair held from January 1-31 in the capital city of Dhaka from morning to evening. In addition, different types of products, commodities, gaming, and entertaining facilities have made the fair a month-long festival rather than an exhibition.
As the fair starts from the 1st day of English New Year, so add it to your new year's holiday itinerary in Bangladesh that would give you an exciting experience.
Dhaka International Film Festival in January:
Dhaka International Film Festival has now become one of the most prestigious film events in South Asia held in the first week of January since 1992 in the Capital City of Dhaka.
Hundreds of films from around the world participate in this Film Festival which welcomes thousands of filmmakers, journalists, film critics, and eminent personalities of the world film industry.
The Festival is organized on a regular basis by Rainbow Film Society, which has been dedicated to the promotion of a healthy cine culture in Bangladesh.
It is a must-see event for tourists who want to explore the film culture of Bangladesh as well as wish to enjoy the globally acclaimed films.
Organizer: Rainbow Film Society
Kite Festival - Sakrain on January 14:
For hundreds of years, residents of the old part of the Capital City Dhaka, celebrate kite festival locally known as ‘Shakrain Festival’ held in 14 or 15 January.
This is one of the oldest traditional festivals in the historical old Dhaka where you will find yourselves a buzz with colors, festivities, excitements, smiles, and hospitality of the people. Thousands of people from young to adult fly kites at the rooftops and engage in kite-battle.
In the evening the sky is lit up with dazzling fireworks, fire breathers that make a memorable experience in your lifetime. It is said if you have not experienced the ‘Shakrain’ of old Dhaka, you haven't seen the real Dhaka.
So, whenever you plan to visit Bangladesh in the New Year, please do not miss the ‘Shakrain Festival’.
Place: Old Dhaka & Allover Bangladesh
Organizer: Local Community of Old Dhaka
Amar Ekushey Book Fair on February 1-28:
On 21st February 1952, some valiant sons of the soil, laid down their lives to establish Bangla as the state language of the then East Pakistan (present Bangladesh). Since then, the month-long Book Fair organized by Bangla Academy is featured as the Amar(meaning immortal) Ekushey (meaning 21st in Bangla language) Book Fair held in February annually.
It is one of the largest book fairs in South Asia held at the courtyard of Bangla Academy and the adjacent historic Suhrawardi Uddan (Park) in Dhaka. Books of different genres and subjects are available at the fair which can be an exciting souvenir for your friends and relatives. You may have visited many international book fairs held around the world, but you will hardly find a fair which is held on the background of a tragic history of sacrifice for mother language and literature.
In fact, February is called the month of celebration and colors in Bangladesh because of the Amar Ekushey Book Fair, Spring Festival, Saraswati festival, Valentine’s Day, and so on. So your visit to Bangladesh in the month of February would be a lifetime memory.
Place: Bangla Academy, Dhaka
Organizer: Bangla Academy
Spring Festivals in February 13:
To adieu Winter and welcome Spring in a typical Bangladeshi style - would be a unique experience for you in Bangladesh.
Be amazed to see how life happens here with such colors and festivities on the arrival of Spring. Pahela Falgun is the first day of Spring and the eleventh month in the Bengali calendar that falls on 13 February- just on the eve of Valentine's Day.
To celebrate the day various types of festivals take place all over the country. The blazing red and yellow are the representative colors of Spring.
Bengali people embellish themselves with these two primary colors. The slogan of this day is- "Esho Mili Praner Utshobe" (Come and mingle in the festival of Life).
The festivals start with traditional music and dance shows performed by the artists of Chayanat and Shishu Academy. People play with colorful paints. Some fabricate their faces with Bengali Alpanas.
So your stay in Bangladesh during Spring will delight you with the unfounded happiness and colors of the country.
Place: Dhaka University, Suhrawardi Uddan and all over Bangladesh.
Craft Fair & Folk Festival on January – February:
A month-long folk festival from January 14 to February 14, takes place on the premises of the Bangladesh Folk and Craft Foundation in Sonargaon Upazila of Narayanganj District. It is only half an hour drive from the capital city of Dhaka and called the folk capital of Bangladesh with a rich Folk Art & Craft Museum. The Museum contains a large collection of hundreds of years old folk art and crafts.
You will find the place embellished with folk paintings, Alpona, traditional folk crafts for households, decorative items, fabrics, and other items like Shital Pati from Sylhet region, Shokher Hari, and Masks from Rajshahi, clay, and brass crafts from Dhaka, Jamdani, and Nakshikantha (embroidered quilt), from Sonargaon.
Around 60 artisans from across the country are demonstrating various crafts-making techniques at the event. Besides, visitors can enjoy traditional performances like Baul Gaan (Songs), Pala Gaan (Songs), Kobi Gaan(Songs), Jatra pala, puppet show, bioscope, and others every day in the evening at the fair.
Panam City- the oldest capital of Bengal is just nearby the venue of the festival that represents its rich and glorious history from time immemorial.
So don't miss the opportunity to visit the festival to discover the wonders one after another.
Place: Sonargaon, Narayangonj
Organizer: Bangladesh Folk Art & Craft
Bou Mela (Bride Fair) on March-April:
A banyan tree associated with the Goddess Kali stands in a Sonargaon village. The banyan tree is age-old and its roots and branches are similar to a woman’s hair. A special fair for women is arranged under the Kali Banyan tree every year on the 1st day of the Bengali month Baishakh.
The main exhibits are seasonal fruits, rice cakes, sweets, bangles, and imitation jewelry. The unmarried women of the locality as well as women from fair visit this fair. The Hindu women offer fresh fruits to the tree asking for a better future for their family.
Langalband Festival on April:
Langalband Festival is one of the most ancient religious festivals for the Hindus in the entire Indian Sub-continent held annually at Langaband-a Hindu holy place on the bank of old Brahmaputra close to Dhaka-Chattogram (Chittagong) highway and 20 kilometers to the southeast of Dhaka city.
The festival takes place on the 8th day of a lunar fortnight in the Bengali month of Chaitra around mid-April.
Thousands of Hindu devotees from home and abroad assemble there for Ashtami Snan, a holy bath in the river to please Brahma and to be relieved from their sins and distresses. Incidentally, the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed at this place signifying how the place is revered by the devotees.
Alongside the festivals, sales, and display of traditional art and crafts, locally-made sweets and cuisines, household articles, gifts, and souvenirs will captivate you with the excellence of rural and folk artisan style.
If you happen to be in the area at that time, the festival would definitely make for a fascinating diversion of your travel plans.
Place: Langalbandh, Narayanganj
* Depends on the sight of the Moon.
Celebration Of Bangla New Year (Pahela Baishakh) in April 14:
Pahela Boishakh is Bengali New Year that falls on the first day of the Bengali month of Baishakh on the 14th of April in Bangladesh. People from all walks of life, irrespective of faith and creed, join this celebration across the country with fun and festivities wearing traditional dresses and relishing traditional cuisines.
Dhaka welcomes the new year with the rise of the sun under the Banyan tree at Ramna Park with a rendition of Rabindranath Tagore's song "Esho he Boishakh" welcoming the new year.
To celebrate the day, the students of Fine Arts Institute of Dhaka University organize Mangal Shovajatra (Procession for the wellbeing) - a vibrant and colorful street parade. It is an integral part of the festivities attended by thousands of people from all walks of life.
The Mangal Shovajatra was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2016, categorized on the representative list as a heritage of humanity. Again, traditional fairs and festivals, cultural programs held all over the country where you can discover the excellence of Bangladeshi folk art and crafts.
If you ask about the essence of the festival, don't miss to taste the famous cuisine of Bangladesh- panta-ilish (soaked rice with Hillsha fish) and various types of delicious sweets which are the essence of the day available at all hotels, motels and resorts.
Place: All over Bangladesh
Mango And Silk Festival in June 3rd Week:
Bangladesh is popularly known as the land of the sweetest mango in the world. The area which is famous for mango cultivation in Bangladesh is Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Rangpur and Dinajpur. Visitors from home and abroad visit the mango orchards and taste the fresh mango in a festive way.
As Rajshahi is also famous for its silk, a festival is held there during the monsoon in the third week of June.It is a wonderful occasion for the visitors to relish the taste of fresh mango, enjoy the hustling-bustling of traditional mango markets and buy the cloths and souvenirs made of world-famous silk of Rajshahi. Again, different cultural organizations performed Gambhira, a popular folksong and dance of the region.
So order your monsoon package to travel to Bangladesh and find the wonderful greenish landscape, vibrant rivers, lakes, wetlands, and traditional fishing style of the people. With all of these activities ongoing, you will discover an unexplored monsoon beauty of Bangladesh.
*At any convenient time.
Boat Race on September:
Bangladesh is a riverine country having the most complex river system in the world. Rivers are an integral part of the socio-economic fabric of Bangladesh that plays huge role in economic development as well as the sources of recreation and entertainments.
One of the most exciting entertainments is the boat race which is just a fabulous festival to enjoy with thousands of cheering people, colors, festivity and exotic sporting environment.
It is one of the ancient and rural flock game of Bangladesh organized in different rivers of the country, but the boat race in the river Buriganga beside the capital Dhaka is one of the most enjoyable boat races which you can easily experience and is just an hour drive from your hotels. This is generally held in the month of September when the rivers are filled with waters after rainy seasons.
Besides, boat races are organized in different parts of the countries each of the race is celebrated with great enthusiasm and festivity. A fair is held on the bank of the river where the vendors sell various types of crafts.
Place: Dhaka and different places outside of Dhaka (Buriganga, Padma and Madhumati River)
Organizer: Rowing Foundation
*At any convenient time.
Lalon Fair on October:
Fakir Lalon Shah, a mystic, a songwriter, singer, social reformer, and secular thinker, is considered the greatest Baul saint in South Asia and revered as Baul Philosopher.
He has become an icon of religious tolerance and secularism in Bengali culture. He is believed to have pioneered the world-famous Baul song which is declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
The legendary musician Lalon was born in October 1772 at Harishpur village under Jhenaidah district and passed away on 17 October 1890 at the age of 116.
A five day long fair is held at Lalon Academy at the birthplace of Baul Lalon Shah in Cheuria Village of Kushtia District. The fair has turned into a congregation for Lalon followers. Every year thousands of followers and admirers from home and abroad gather at the Akhra to take part in the festival.
Organizer: District Administration Office Kushtia
*At any convenient time.
Dhaka Literary Festival [Dhaka Lit Fest] on November:
Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF), one of the largest literary festivals in Bangladesh that brings together renowned and upcoming names in literary and cultural worlds both from home and abroad. DLF began with a pilot event in 2011 under the aegis of the world-famous Hay-on-Wye festival.
It assumed a new name—Dhaka Lit Fest—to mark its commitment to promoting Dhaka, and Bangladeshi literature and culture to the world. It is a three-day event held in the Bangla Academy in the month of November of the year.
The Fest is designed with countless inspiring sessions on wide-ranging topics. It also offers literature for children and space for them to practice storytelling, origami art, and writing through workshops and engaging games.
So don't miss it to mix with the world-renowned literary personalities of the world.
Place: Bangla Academy, Dhaka
*At any convenient time
Kuakata Beach Carnival on November – December:
Every year in December a Mega Beach Carnival is held at Kuakata beach, one of the country’s major tourist attractions, which will be a great opportunity for a tourist to explore the splendours of this unexplored destination.
Located in Patuakhali District in the Southern part of Bangladesh, this sea beach is famous among tourists for its geographical location , allows visitors to enjoy sunrise and sunset from the beach. The natural setting, colorful minority ethnic groups, the diverse lifestyle of the people are the special attractions that will mesmerize you with undiscovered beauty of the beach.
So please don't miss to visit the Carnival of Kuakata and add it to your travel calendar in Bangladesh.
*At any convenient time.
Navanna: Harvesting Festival In Autumn on December:
Golden fields miles after miles, waved with gentle air, songs of the farmers in joy and happiness while harvesting is the usual scenario in rural Bangladesh in the month of Agrahayan, the eighth month of Bangla calendar.
To celebrate the harvest, a festival named Nabanna means ‘new rice’ is observed throughout the country with smile and happiness of the farmers. The festival of bringing new crops home has been celebrated in this region for centuries and has become an integral part of the tradition and culture. It is celebrated with friends and relatives and entertaining them with varieties of food items made of new crops.
In urban area, the festival is celebrated with music, dance, and different types of cultural performances.
Place: All over Bangladesh
*At any convenient time.
Hasan Mela (Hasan Festival) on December:
Dewan Hasan Raja is the great mystic songwriter and folk poet of Bangladesh. He is honored as one of the greatest Bauls who introduced a typical mysticism in his works by which he is also called a philosopher. This great philosopher was born on 21 December 1854 at Sunamganj District and died on 6 December, 1922.
To commemorate his classical contributions to Bengali music and folk literature, a three-day-long celebration event is organized at his historical residence of Sunamganj from 20-22 December every year.
In addition to visiting the event, the visitors may experience the wonderful scenic beauty of famous Tanguar Haor, Sunamganj-one of the Ramsar Sites of the world which is full of rich and diverse species of aquatic resources.
Wangala Festival of the Garos:
‘Wangala’ is the primitive tradition and major religious festival of Garo minority ethnic community, who mainly live in the greater Mymensingh division.
The festival is celebrated in honour of Saljong, the Sun god of fertility. It has also been an occasion for preserving and promoting the cultural identity and diversity of the Garo community. The Festival marks the end of a period of toil, which brings a good harvest in the fields and also signifies the onset of winter.
Mega Beach Carnival At COX'S Bazar:
A Mega Beach Carnival is held at Cox's Bazar- the longest beach in the world by decorating it colourfully. The carnival includes Bangladeshi culture functions of local minority ethnic groups, fireworks, exhibition of different food items, folk arts and crafts, kite festival, beach cricket tournament, surfing, photo exhibition and awareness-raising events to keep the beach clean.
If you want to make your holiday with friends and families and enjoy the fanfare and merriments, Cox's Bazar Beach Carnival would be the perfect occasion to visit Bangladesh.
Place: Cox's Bazar
*At any convenient time.
Vaishabi Festival in April 12-14:
If you want to enjoy the celebration of New Year named ‘Vaishabi’ with the small-ethnic communities in Bangladesh in their typical style, Bandarban, Rangamati, and Khagracchari-the three hill districts in the south-eastern part of the country are the perfect places to be with friends and families.
Vaishabi is a major festival in this hilly region and celebrated by the small-ethnic communities namely Chakma and Tanchangya as Biju, by Marmas as Shangrai and by Tripuris as Baisuk or Baisu.
The festival is considered as sacred as well as blissful with colors, festivities, music, dances, traditional sports and indigenous rituals that will seize you with a kind of fascination pulling you back every year to enjoy the festival.
As Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachari are the three main tourist destinations of the country, so visit these destinations during Vaishabi on the way to Cox's Bazar. It must be on your travel plan in Bangladesh.
Place: Rangamati, Khagrachari, Bandarban
* At any convenient time.
Raash Mela (Dublar Char) *December:
Rash Mela is the main festival and fair of the Manipuri Community - minority ethnic groups of Bangladesh. It is also observed by Hindus at different places. It is held on the night of the full moon in Kartik-Agrahayan at Kamalganj in Moulvibazar, at Dublar Char in the Sundarbans and on the Kuakata beach in Patuakhali. The festival is named as it has evolved from the spiritual 'Rasalila' (love-play) of Radha and Lord Krishna at Vrindavan.
The prime attractions of the festival are herdsmen's dance by boys in Manipuri dress and the rasa dance by young girls. The love trysts of Krishna and Radha are enacted through Manipuri music and dance drama. The exciting viewers, including foreigners, assemble in the place to see the fair.
Kamalganj upazilla under Moulvibazar district is the main venue of the festival for Manipuri devotees. The Bishunpria community of the Manipuri tribe celebrates the occasion. Devotees from all parts of Bangladesh and even from India arrive at this place to join in the celebration. About a thousand shops are opened at the time of the fair held during the festival. Other main attractions of the fair are puppet show, Jatra (theatre), merry-go-round, and many more.
Three-day fairs are held on the occasion at Kuakata and Dublar Char. Thousands of devotees visit the places during the fair, which concludes with a holy bath in the sea at dawn. The fair signals the opening of the fishing season in the Sundarbans.
Place: Bagerhat (Sundarbans)
*Depends on the sight of the Moon.