Janmashtami, one of the major festivals of the Hindu community commemorating the birth of Lord Sri Krishna, will be celebrated countrywide today (on Wednesday) with due religious fervour and gaiety.
According to Hindu mythology, Sri Krishna was born on the eighth day of dark fortnight in the Bangla month of Bhadra and he takes birth in ages in the world to safeguard the good and pious people from the hands of malevolent people by establishing truth, justice and beauty in the society, reports BSS.
It is usually observed on the eighth day (ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha in the month of Shraban or Bhadra.
The day of Janmashtami is a public holiday in Bangladesh.
On the eve of the festival, President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages extended greetings and felicitations to Hindu community members and wished success of all programmes.
President Shahabuddin, in his message, said Janmashtami is one of the major religious festivals of the Hindu community.
Sri Krishna was philanthropic, lover, politician and social reformer and his main philosophy was to forge the bond of true love and harmony among people removing injustice, repression, persecution and conflicts from society, he said.
According to Hindu religion, the President said, Lord Sri Krishna takes birth in ages in the earth to protect religion and good people and annihilate sins and malevolent people.
Bangladesh is country of communal harmony as it is unique characteristic of the nation's culture, he said.
"We will have to keep intact the existing harmony and mutual amity to expedite the national progress and prosperity," President Mohammed Shahabuddin.
He called upon all irrespective of religious view and opinions including the Hindus to stand by helpless and distressed people of society with the great mantra of philanthropy being imbued with the philosophy of Lord Sri Krishna.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said Sri Krishna's main goal was to establish brotherhood and equity in society and he upheld the flag of peace, love for humanity and justice throughout his life.
She said Lord Krishna worshiped the mankind through his life and work.
The premier said her Awami League government is determined to protect communal harmony in the country.
Noting that people of all castes and creeds have been living peacefully for ages, she said the country's constitution guarantees equal rights for people of all castes and creeds.
"We believe-religion is for individuals, festivals for all. Our main goal is to make development for people of all classes, professions and communities. We are working to ensure dignified and safe living for people of all communities to achieve this goal," said Sheikh Hasina.
She hoped the ideals and teachings of Sri Krishna would further consolidate the thousand-year-old communal harmony, amity and bond of friendship of the Bengalees.
She called upon all to make united efforts to build Bangladesh as a Smart, developed, non-communal and peaceful country.
Temples and religious organisations and institutions have also chalked out programmes to celebrate Janmashtami festival.
National dailies will publish special articles while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, other private TV channels and radio stations will air special programmes highlighting various aspects of life and philosophy of Lord Sri Krishna.
Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad and Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee have taken up a two-day programme centrally at Dhakeshwari National Temple here.
Manindra Kumar Nath, president of Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee said the festival will begin with Geeta Joggo at 8am at Dhakeshwari National Temple to seek blessing for the country and the nation.
A historic Janmashtami procession will be brought out from Palashi intersection in the afternoon.
Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader will join it as the chief guest while Dhaka city south Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh will inaugurate it.
Wearing colourful dresses, thousands of devotees will join the procession. Children will be dressed up as Lord Krishna to join the event. The procession will end at Victoria Park in the old part of the city after marching different city streets.
Krishna Puja will be offered at 8pm at the temple.
On September 7, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will exchange greetings with Hindu community members on the occasion of Janmashtami, said Manindra Kumar Nath.
A discussion will be held at the Dhakeshwari National Temple on September 8.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Faridul Haque Khan, Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pranay Verma and AL Office Secretary Barrister Biplab Barua will join it.
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) has also taken programmes at Swamibagh Asram in the capital to mark the festival.
Besides, Swami Bholanandagiri Asram, Prabhu Jagadbandhu Mahaprakash Math, Radhamadhab Jio Deb Bigraha Temple, Baradeshwari Kalimata Temple and Crematorium, Radha Gobinda Jio Temple, Shib Temple, Ramseeta Temple and Madhab Gourio Math and different other temples and religious organizations will arrange different programmes in the capital marking the festival.
The festival will also be celebrated in temples across the country with different programmes.