Top 13 Cultural Festivals in Bangladesh – When and Where You Should Go

Top Cultural Festivals in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is certainly the land where celebrations never seem to stop. If you have a penchant for immersing yourself in cultural fiestas, then buckle up.

There’s everything – from religious festivities to vibrant fairs, this country offers an assortment of events that can keep you entertained throughout the year.

And, having had the distinct pleasure of experiencing them all, I present to you the top 13 cultural festivals in Bangladesh and the best times to jump into the fray.

1. Eid Ul Fitr

Eid Ul Fitr is one heck of a celebration. It comes right on the heels of Ramadan, and it’s a 3-day extravaganza that the government just loves to get in on.

This is a nonstop food fest, with platters of fragrant biryani, rich and creamy kheer, and all sorts of other mouthwatering dishes that could tempt even the most disciplined dieter.

It’s a veritable culinary marathon punctuated by communal prayers and all kinds of fun activities. Definitely worth marking this celebration in your calendar.

When? April 10


  • Communal prayers at dawn.
  • Feasting on traditional dishes.
  • Recreational activities and family gatherings.

2. Eid Ul Adha

Eid Ul Adha is all about making sacrifices, but don’t worry, it’s not as heavy as it sounds. Everyone starts the day with some morning prayers, then it’s time to break out the butcher knives.  Yeah, the actual animal sacrifice can get a little messy, I won’t sugarcoat it.

But the real magic happens afterward when everyone starts preparing the meat and sharing it with the community.  That’s where the spirit of the holiday really shines through – it’s all about coming together and looking out for one another.

Personally, I always look forward to this time of year. There’s just something about the energy of the festival that gets me pumped up. Plus, you can’t beat all that delicious food that comes out of it!

When? June 16 – 17


  • Morning prayers.
  • Animal sacrifices.
  • Distribution of meat and charity.

3. Durga Puja

I love celebrating Durga Puja – it’s such a vibrant and lively Hindu festival that goes on for four days in the month of Ashvin. It’s an artistic explosion, with all the colorful decorations, the reverent worship rituals, and the lively social gatherings.

And, of course, the grand finale is the immersion of the idols, which is always a sight to behold. The whole atmosphere is just electric. There are cultural performances happening left and right, and there’s this palpable sense of camaraderie and community that you can really feel.

It’s infectious – you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement and festivities.

When? October 13


  • Worship and rituals.
  • Social gatherings.
  • Idol immersion ceremonies.

4. Buddha Purnima

Buddha Purnima is the birthday celebration for the great Gautam Buddha. It’s a pretty special day. All the temples are looking their absolute best, with colorful decorations and people gathered for prayers and ceremonies.

Everywhere you look, there are little festival stalls and fairs popping up. It’s a time of both reverence and revelry, drawing in the faithful as well as the merely intrigued.  Personally, I always enjoy soaking up this celebratory atmosphere on days like these. There’s just something really uplifting about it all – as all birthdays should be.

When? May 23


  • Temple decorations.
  • Prayers and rituals.
  • Local fairs and cultural activities.

5. Christmas – ‘Boro Din’ Bangla Style

In Bangladesh, Christmas is called ‘Boro Din,’ and it’s celebrated with just as much gusto, if not more, as anywhere else in the world. When the holiday season rolls around, homes in Bangladesh are decked out in all the trimmings – twinkling lights, festive ornaments, the whole nine yards. And the main event? That would be the big family dinner, a veritable feast that could put any five-star restaurant to shame.

Of course, the guest of honor of this celebration is Santa Claus himself. He delivers gifts and spreads cheer to kids and adults alike. It’s a wonderfully cozy and heartwarming celebration that really helps chase away the winter blues.

When? December 25


  • Decorative lights and Christmas trees.
  • A grand festive dinner.
  • Santa Claus and gift-giving.

6. Pohela Baishakh

Pohela Baishakh is the Bengali New Year celebration. This celebration is all about fresh beginnings.  The vibe is on point – everyone breaks out the traditional garb, chows down on that Panta Ilish (fermented rice and hilsa fish), and gets their groove on with cultural activities like hitting up the Nagordola (Ferris wheel). It’s a straight-up day of joy and cultural swagger.

When? April 14


  • Traditional attire and food.
  • Cultural performances and activities.
  • Nagordola rides and fairs.

7. Pohela Falgun

Pohela Falgun signifies the advent of spring. The landscape is awash with the dominance of yellow and white garments, while cultural exhibitions further amplify the ambiance.

This celebration evokes a sense of rejuvenation, marking a distinct departure from the winter’s dreary atmosphere. Like spring, this festival is a great way to wake the people and nature up.

When? February 14


  • Wearing yellow and white.
  • Cultural performances.
  • Celebrations in parks and public spaces.

8. Nabanna

The Nabanna harvest festival is a time for farmers to revel in the fruits of their labor. As the new crops come in, the rural communities bust out the food, dance, and music to commemorate the occasion.  It’s a celebration that really brings out the community fellowship and agricultural enthusiasm.

When? 1st day of Agrahayan


  • Celebrations of the new harvest.
  • Traditional food, dance, and music.
  • Community gatherings.

9. Nouka Baich

The Nouka Baich is a classic boat race that’s a big deal in the countryside. Teams go head-to-head, vying for the prize money, and the energy is electric.  It’s a real spectator sport that taps into that competitive drive and local community spirit.

When? June to October


  • Traditional boat races.
  • Competitions with prize money.
  • Community celebrations.

10. Shakrain Festival

The Shakrain Festival is a kite flying that goes down in the Old Town of Dhaka. This is not your average kite festival, though.  The sky is popping with colorful kites, the night lights up with fireworks, and the DJ keeps the tunes bumping to really get the party started.

The whole celebration is an awesome blend of traditional vibes and modern festivities – you just have experience it to see what I’m talking about.

When? January 14


  • Kite flying competitions.
  • Fireworks displays.
  • DJ music and dance parties.

11. Jatiya Pitha Utsab

I absolutely love the Jatiya Pitha Utsab – it’s a dream come true for anyone with a serious sweet tooth like me.  This festival is all about celebrating the rich, rural cake (or pitha, as locals call them) culture of Dhaka.

But it’s not just about the sweets. The organizers also put together some really impressive art performances that showcase the traditional rural customs and practices.

When? It’s typically held in January


  • Variety of traditional pithas.
  • Art performances.
  • Celebrations of rural culture.

12. Joy Bangla Concert

I always make sure to mark my calendar for the annual Joy Bangla Concert. This event is a real treat – it’s a celebration of Bangabandhu Sheikh Majibur Rahman’s historic speech, and the atmosphere is absolutely electric.

The concert features performances by some of the top local bands, and the energy they bring to the stage is simply unparalleled. It’s a concert with a cause, and one that any self-respecting music aficionado in Dhaka wouldn’t dream of missing.

The whole event has this incredible vibe to it – it’s a chance for the community to come together and pay tribute to an important moment in our history, all while enjoying some killer live music.

When? March 7


  • Performances by local bands.
  • Celebration of a historic event.
  • Vibrant concert atmosphere.

13. Ekushey Boi Mela

Ekushey Boi Mela is a celebration where book lovers like myself should always go. It’s a book fair that goes down in Dhaka every February 21st, which just so happens to be International Mother Language Day.

This celebration is a goldmine for us bibliophiles – there are books as far as the eye can see. It’s basically a pilgrimage for anyone who’s serious about their reading, and every year, there’s something new to enjoy.

When? February 21


  • Extensive book fair.
  • Cultural significance of Language Martyrs.
  • Events and book signings.

Final Thoughts

In Bangladesh, there’s never a dull moment with these festivals. Each one is a unique experience that offers a glimpse into the country’s rich culture.

So, if you’re looking to truly experience Bangladesh, mark your calendar and get ready for a year full of celebrations.

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