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Dhaka Holidays Overview
The bustling city of Dhaka is the capital of the South Asian country of Bangladesh. This city which is located on the banks of the Buriganga River is a densely populated city which is home to approximately 12 million people.Dhaka which has also been called Dacca and Jehangir Nagar through the ages is a mega metropolis which is famous for producing the world’s finest muslin. The city is also an important center of education, culture and business in Bangladesh and is popularly referred to as ‘the City of Mosques’ for it is populated with many Muslim places of worship.
The history of the origin of Dhaka can be traced to the rule of the Mughals in the Indian subcontinent. The Mughals ruled the subcontinent between the 15th and 17th centuries and during this rule of the Muslim invaders, Dhaka was known as Jahangir Nagar. The city functioned as a center for the world’s muslin trade during this period but it came into its own when the British colonized India during the 18th and 19th centuries. Dhaka was made the capital of the new province of East Bengal and Assam after the partition of Bengal in 1905. However the city was stripped of its prominent position after this partition was abandoned in 1911.
After India gained its independence from the British in 1947, Dhaka was made the capital of East Pakistan but the people of East Pakistan began to agitate for their independence from West Pakistan during the mid -1960’s, this resulted in war with Western Pakistan during the month of March 1971. India supported the Bangladeshi liberation movement which was headed by the Mukti Bahini( the Bangladesh Liberation Army) and this led to the Indo-Pak War of 1971 which broke out in December 1971. The war finally ended on the 16th of December when the allied forces of the Indian army and the Mukti Bahini defeated the Western Pakistani forces which were deployed in East Pakistan.
Dhaka was declared the capital of the independent state of Bangladesh in 1972 and since then it has served as the political, cultural and economic epicenter of the country. Dhaka is a crowded and congested city which has been ravaged by many natural disasters and political upheavals over the years. However this city which has often been described as one of the least livable cities in the world has in recent times received much foreign direct investment and is currently experiencing rapid commercial and economic growth.
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holidays - Top Events
Dhaka’s main events all center on the national holidays which are associated with the Bangladesh War of Independence of 1971.
Independence Day is celebrated in Bangladesh on March 26th every year. This day which commemorates the declaration of independence and the start of Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 is celebrated with grand parades and rallies in Dhaka.
Language Movement Day or Language Revolution Day
Language Movement Day which is also referred to as Language Martyrs' Day or Martyrs' Day is celebrated on February 21st each year and it commemorates the struggle which took place during the 1950’s that aimed to achieve equal status for the national language ‘Bangla’. Solemn ceremonies are held on this day near the Shaheed Minar in Dhaka which is a monument that commemorates the people who sacrificed their lives during this movement.
Victory Day is celebrated on December 16th every year and this holiday commemorates the defeat of the western Pakistani forces by the combined Indo-Bangladeshi forces on December 16th 1971. This event ended the nine month long Bangladesh Liberation War.
Dhaka also celebrates the traditional Muslim religious festivals of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha.
This religious festival is celebrated at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on the first day of Shawwal. Like all festivals, this event is also celebrated in the company of friends and family and involves the purchasing of new clothes, feasting of good food and exchanging of gifts.
Eid Ul Azha
This day is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice which falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja of the lunar Islamic calendar. This festival is celebrated over three days and involves the sacrifice of a sheep, goat or cow to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to God. This event also marks the end of Haj or the annual pilgrimage to Mecca which is undertaken by thousands of Muslims every year.
This is another religious festival which is celebrated by Muslims all over the year. Muslims believe on the night of Shab-e-Barat , Allah(the almighty) determines the destinies of all people for the following year by taking into account their actions of the past. This festival also features prayers, the exchange of sweetmeats, fireworks and visits of family and friends.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Malaysian Airlines and Jet airways provide air links to Dhaka from Australian cities, Sydney and Melbourne. However the flight time of these journeys depends largely on the route that you choose to take and the stops that you are compelled to make.
Australia has its main diplomatic mission, the Australian High Commission situated in the city of Dhaka.