On 14th of April 2018, we will be a part of the parade of color and music, fun and solidarity, says a joyful Aranyo Deep, a member of Young Bangladeshi Torontonians (YBT). YBT is the host organization of this parade along with Hindu Cultural Society, Toronto. The parade will start at 3:00PM on 14th of April, from 2994 Danforth Avenue, East York, Toronto (popularly referred to as Ghoroa Restaurant parking lot).
According to Bangla calendar, 1st day of the month of Baishakh (April 14th according to Gregorian calendar) is the first day of the Bangla year. Hundreds of millions of people across the world celebrate this new years’ day with traditional Bangladeshi festivities. Red, white and Green are the theme colors of the festival. The largest Bangla New Year Parade takes place in Dhaka, the Capital city of Bangladesh, followed by concerts and cultural shows showcasing the thousand year old cultural richness of the people of Bengali origin. Following that tradition, parades and cultural shows are organized in many other major cities of the world. But the celebrations hosted in Toronto ranks among the top in that global list, if not at the very top. In Toronto, Young Bangladeshi Torontonians (YBT), a group of young men and women of Bangladeshi origin, has been organizing the main attraction of this celebration, the New Year Parade for many years now. Many social and cultural organizations join the concert that follows the parade. People from all over the province of Ontario come travelling hundreds of kilometers to participate in this parade. This year, the parade will be bigger than ever before, says Aranyo Deep. Hundreds of masks, banners, flowers have been prepared by the volunteers of the organization, to be used as props at the parade. A 10+ feet tall peacock is being built using wood, paper, and color to form the centerpiece of the parade. The stretch of Danforth Avenue, from Shoppers World Danforth to Main Street will be blocked for the parade with the help of Toronto Police Service, the organizers informed.
Each year for last few years, this parade forms part of the week long festivities and cultural events organized by the Bangladeshi-Canadian community living in Toronto, to celebrate the Bangla New Year. The events are hosted in various venues in the East York and Scarborough area of Toronto.
Photo collected from BUT Facebook page.