Social distancing and self-quarantining are imperative in the wake of the prevailing global health crisis. Having said that, this Pohela Boishakh we will not be able to rush to melas or arrange big gatherings indoors either (and we really shouldn’t!). Nonetheless, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean that we cannot welcome Noboborsho with the same keenness as we Bengalis are traditionally known for! It is encouraged to fight the pandemic not only by taking precautionary measures relating to physical health but by also trying to stay positive and indulging in the festive mood that Boishakh brings along!
Even while being quarantined, we can still commemorate Pohela Boishakh with our family members at home. Who says it has to be a grand celebration for it to be enjoyable, and just as significantly memorable? So in this blog, we discuss how you can make the best of the current situation by using our tips on how you can prepare for Boishakh while being safely quarantined!
Spruce up the soft furnishings
To enliven the ambience of your home and to get the joyous feeling of Boishakh, replace your bed sheets with fresh ones that are bright and colourful! Not only bedsheets, alternately style your covers and duvet, too. Mix and match – if you’re using bold sheets, then use a lighter-toned duvet and vice versa! As summertime is here, if you have lighter drapes – bring them out of the store and replace the existing ones. This will help in giving off a positive vibe in your bedrooms.
Of course, Pohela Boishakh calls for the day to have all things Bengali. Accessorize your furniture pieces with Nakshi kantha cushions and jamdani throws. We recommend making use of a colourful satrangi or jute rug to enhance the aura of your living space. Remember, you might not have guests coming over but revamping the decor in compliance with the festivities will surely help create an ambience of festivity for you to enjoy with your family or the housemates you’re quarantined with!
Display fresh-cut flowers, if you have plants in the balcony, in a glass or ceramic vases. Or you can take your decor one step further by making use of the traditional terracotta clay vases. Use it as a centrepiece in your living or dining space. It will surely help add freshness and exuberance to your home! Decorate using exquisite summertime flowers like krishnachura, palash and aparajita.
Speaking of vases, the whole household can take part in an enjoyable creative activity of painting clay vases! This can be a fun bonding opportunity for the family members during these trying times, while also contributing to your Boishakh decor as you put flowers into these vases and display them.
Would it even feel like Boishakh without the iconic song “Esho he Boishakh, Esho Esho” that brings Boishakh in every year? So, make sure you don’t forget to play some tunes. Now, if you happen to own a Gramophone – it must be the tune player of the day!
You could also engage in a fun game of Bangla gaan er antakshari with the rest of the household or set a relaxing and peaceful mood by playing some classic Rabindra sangeet tunes. It is your celebration, so do what feels right!
Coming to the big Boishakhi meal – whether you’ve decided to have Panta Ilish for lunch or dinner, set up your table using traditional Bengali serving ware! Earthen clay is always a classic choice for the Boishakhi meal. However, if you wish to try something unique this year, opt for Kansha (bell metal) plates and bowls.
Use jute placemats to further enhance your setup. Since we’re celebrating the beginning of the Bengali new year, it’s only fair that we incorporate the Bengali essence into the ambiance and the setup as best as we can!
A hearty meal
During current times, it is advisable to prepare and cook your meals at home. A home-cooked meal is the best way to ensure cleanliness. Starting from the main course to refreshments, like watermelon juice or shorbot made of kaacha aam – we can prepare it all at home. To celebrate the day with grandeur, make authentic Bengali dishes. You could either stick to the traditional panta ilish or even choose to go with khichuri.
With more time on our hand in this time of quarantining, you could make pitha from scratch. Not only will this be a delicious addition to your celebrations, but this could also be a fun, maybe even competitive, activity for the entire household to take part in!
Now before starting to prepare for Borshoboron and decorating the house, it is important to declutter, clean and disinfect your home! You can read about the cleaning and disinfecting tips for your home here.
As you do your bit to keep the world safe in these trying times, we hope this blog helps you in preparing for an intimate, yet gratifying Noboborsho celebration at home because let’s not forget to try to make the best of this situation! We hope you enjoy a memorable start to your Bengali year in the safety of your home with your family.
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