Rabindra and Nazrul Jayanti Celebrations

During the month of May, two significant literary masterminds from Bangladesh are honored in a ceremonial festival. The births and deaths of these two remarkable men are remembered, as their impact on Bangladesh and the legacy they left behind still play a vital role in the culture and history of the country. Rabindra and Nazrul Jayanti, are two days of remembrance and celebration across Bangladesh, and a unique cultural experience for visitors. Tourists who are able to attend the festivities are recommended to join in this personal and heartfelt tribute to legendary literary visionaries.

Rabindranath Tagore was born on 7 May 1861. His literary achievements included philosophy, novels, poetry, composing, visual art and playwriting. Indeed he had few limitations to his creative abilities. All forms of the arts seemed of come naturally to him and he was writing magnificent poetry from the young age of eight. When he first started to publish his writings, he did so under the pseudonym of Bhanushingho. In 1877 he began exploring the writing of dramas and various short stories. His rhythmic lyrics and poems saw him through loss, disappointments and some of the most difficult times in the history of Bangladesh. His endurance led to receiving a Nobel Prize for Literature in the year 1913. Also, two of his songs, the ‘Amar Shonar Bangla’ and ‘Jana Gana Mana’, became the national anthems of Bangladesh and of India. Rabindranath Tagore passed away on 7 August 1941.

Kazi Nazrul Islam, who later became known as the Rebel Poet, was born on 25 May 1899. He influenced the literary world of Bangladesh with his poetry, music, philosophies and revolutionary views. Nazrul wrote poetry of love and freedom, but also condemned oppression and bigotry through his writings. His vision for both India and Bangladesh increased his popularity in both countries, being named the National Poet of Bangladesh and being remembered and honored fondly in India. Some of his most famous works included the Bidrohi Kobi, or Rebel Poet, Dhumketu (The Comet) and Bhangar Gaan (The Song of Destruction). His songwriting abilities allowed him to compose approximately three thousand songs. Sadly, in 1942, Nazrul started suffering from Pick’s Disease. The outspoken poet and activist for freedom passed away in Dhaka in 1976, at the age of 77.

Both Rabindra and Nazrul became legends through their writings and the Rabindra and Nazrul Jayanti is held each year to commemorate their contributions to the Bengali Culture. Large crowds gather together to listen to readings of their works and performances of their music, as well as to watch dances and short plays based on the works created by both. While celebrating the various forms of arts that Rabindra and Nazrul are remembered for, the people of Bangladesh also celebrate their culture and heritage.