Tuesday 06th December 2016,
Hindu Human Rights Online News Magazine

Hindu New Year

Hindu New Year
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Ugadi

Ugadi is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Karnataka and Andhra pradesh. The name Ugadi is derived from the name “Yuga Adi”, which means ‘the beginning of a new age’.[1] It is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu month Chaitra, which marks the onset of spring. It is believed that Lord Brahma, the creator according to Hindu tradition, began creation on this day.[2] Preparations begin well ahead of the festival. Houses are given a thorough cleaning, people don new clothes and special dishes are prepared, with six flavours.

Gudi Padwa

Gudi Padwa is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Maharashtra. It is celebrated on the same day as Ugadi i.e., the first day of the month Chaitra. Courtyards of rural houses are cleaned and plastered with fresh cowdung. Designs called Rangolis are drawn on doorsteps. People wear new clothes and special dishes are prepared. Lord Brahma is worshipped on this day and the gudi, Brahma’s flag (also called Brahmadhvaj), is hoisted in every house as a symbolic representation of Rama’s victory over Ravana.

Puthandu

Puthandu, also known as Varuda pirappu , is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Tamil Nadu. It is celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month Chithirai, which falls on 14 April. Women draw patterns called kolams. A lamp called a kuttuvilaku is placed on the center of the kolam, to eradicate darkness. A ritual called kanni takes place. Kanni means ‘auspicious sight’. People watch jewellery, fruits, vegetables, flowers, nuts, rice etc., as it is a belief among Tamil people that it brings prosperity. People wear new clothes and special dishes are prepared for the occasion. A car festival is held at Tiruvadamarudur, near Kumbakonam.

Vishu

Vishu (Malayalam: വിഷു) is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Kerala. It is celebrated on the first day of the Malayalam month of Medam (mid-April on the Gregorian calendar). Offerings to the divine called Vishukanni are neatly arranged on the eve of the festival and consist of rice, linen, cucumber, betel leaves, holy texts, coins and yellow flowers called konna (Cassia fistula). A bell metal lamp called nilavilakku is placed alongside. It is considered auspicious to see the Vishukanni first thing in the morning. On this day, people read the Ramayana and go to temples, Hindu places of worship. Children burst crackers, people wear new clothes and prepare special dishes and the elders of the house give out money to the children, servants and tenants. The money given is called Vishukaineetam.

Cheiraoba

Cheiraoba is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Manipur. Sajibu Cheiraoba is an annual religious celebration in which certain rites and rituals are observed with a traditional devotion. The celebration marks the parting of the old year while welcoming the new year. The name ‘Cheiraoba’ is a combination of two words which have two different meanings – ‘Chahi’ (year) and ‘laoba’ (declaration). So, overall ‘Cheirao-ba’ means the announcement of the coming year.

Cheiraoba falls on the same day as Ugadi or Gudi Padwa.

Navreh

Navreh is the lunar new year which is celebrated in Kashmir. This coincides with the first day of the Chaitra (spring) Navratras. This day finds mention in Rajtarangini and Nilamat Purana of Kashmir and is regarded as sacred in Kashmir as the Shivratri. The celebrated Arab scholar Alberuni has written that Kashmiris celebrate the second of Navaratras to commemorate victory of their greatest and famous king – Lalitaditya – with great festivity and pomp. Navreh falls on the same day as Ugadi or Cheiraoba or Gudi Padwa.

Maha vishuva Sankranti

Mahavishuva Sankranti, is celebrated as the Oriya New Year. On this day, religious people offer delicious Pana – a sweet drink made of different types of fruits, water, milk, bela, curd and sugar or jaggery – to the Tulsi Plant, Lord Shiva and Shalagram and their deities in various Temples of the state. People also drink Pana with great enjoyment. During the festival you will find water pots placed on the roadsides to help the thirsty souls. Water is as also offered to animals and birds with equal enthusiasm. This Sankraniti is also known as Pana Sankranit to Jala Sankranti.

This day is also a celebration of Hanuman Jayanti. Mahabishuda Sankranti is also significant for Jhamu Yatra and this month long festival comes to an end. Patuas (those who observe it) keep fast and wander to various places to preach the religious significance the festival of the Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Goddess Mangala. On the concluding day, these Patuas discipline their senses for more penance and walk on fire and thorns to concentrate on spirituality for the dignity and propriety of life.

Mahabishuba Sankranti generally falls on 13 or 14 April. It is possible that it is celebrated on same day as Puthandu in Tamil Nadu.

Bestu Varas

Bestu Varas is the New Year’s Day for Gujaratis and this falls on the day next to Diwali. Traditional Gujaratis follow Vikram Samwat or Bikram Samwat. According to Hindu calendar systems the Vikrama calendar begins with the month of Baishakh/Chaitra (April), or Kartak (October/November) in Gujarat.

Bestu Baras generally falls in month of October or November. On this day, people greet each other on this day with “Nutan Varsha Abhinandan” i.e. Happy New Year or with “Saal Mubaarak” which is an Urdu saying but is said commonly by Gujarati people. The day starts with the heavy fire works, to welcome New Year, in the early morning as Hindus believe morning starts at 4 am. The local young boys sell raw salt (collected from Salt evaporation pond) calling it “sabras” means all taste, to make the locals’ new year prosperous. Houses are decorated with the aaso palav & marigolds (galgota) toran (Door hangings) and rangoli beside front door with different designs and writings such as “Happy New Year”, “Nutan Varshabhinandan” (નૂતન વર્ષાભિનંદન). The people get dressed with new clothes and visit their neighbours and relatives to greet them. Home made snacks like “Farsaan” (ફરસાણ) and sweets are offered to the guests and neighbours who come to wish the new year.

Cheti Chand

Cheti Chand is celebrated as New Year’s Day by Sindhis, According to the Hindu calendar, Cheti Chand is celebrated on the second day of the Chaitra month known as Chet in Sindhi. Hence it is known as CHET-I-CHAND.

It is the second day of month chaitra i.e. a day after Ugadi and Gudi Padi.

Chaitti and Basoa/Bishu

The festivals of Chaitti and Basoa are celebrated as New Year festivals in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

Chaitti is celebrated on the first day of month of Chaitra which according to the Bikram Samwat is the first day of year. The first day of this month (Chaitra Sankranti) is considered very important and is celebrated all over the state. Chaitti is cebrated on the same day as Ugadi and Gudi Padwa.

The festival of Basoa, also known as Bishu, is celebrated on the first day of the month of Baisakh. The aboriginal and the farming folk celebrate the Basoa festival. Three days before the festival, people make little cakes with Kodra (a coarse grain) flour and wrap them up in leaves. After three days the cakes ferment, then on the morning of the festival day people invite the married daughters and other relatives and break and eat these cakes with honey and sweet water flavoured with jaggery. A ritual song is sung on this occasion.’Manoj

Pohela Boishakh/Juir-Sheetal

Pohela Boishakh or Poila Boishakh is the first day of the Bengali calendar, celebrated in both Bangladesh and West Bengal, and in Bengali communities in Assam and Tripura. It is the day after Vishuva Sankranti, also known as Choitro (Chaitra) Sankranti in Bengali. Pohela Boishakh connects all ethnic Bengalis irrespective of religious and regional differences. It falls on 14 or 15 April of the Gregorian calendar depending on the use of the new amended or the old Bengali calendar respectively. In Bangladesh, it is celebrated on 14 April according to the official amended calendar designed by the Bangla Academy. In Bangladesh, Pohela Boishakh is a national holiday and in West Bengal and Assam it is a public (state) holiday and is publicly celebrated on 14 or 15 April every year which is celebrated as new year in Bengal.

Juir Sheetal (জুড়ি শীতল / जुड़ि शीतल) also known as Pahil Baisakh or Baisakhi or Maithili New Year is the celebration of the first day of the Maithili new year. This day usually falls on 14 April on Gregorian calendar by the Maithils in Mithila region of India and Nepal. This is also called Nirayana Mesh Sankranti or Tirhuta new year in some regions of Mithila.[1] The festive occasion is in keeping with the Hindu solar calendar.

Vaisakhi

Baisakhi Festival, also called Vaisakhi, holds great importance for the Sikh community and farmers of Punjab and Haryana. Baisakhi falls on 13 or 14 April, the first day of the second month of the year according to the Nanakshahi Calendar. Sikhs also celebrate this day in honor of their tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Baisakhi commemorates the day when the Sikh Guru eliminated caste differences and founded Khalsa Panth in 1699, at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab. The Sikh New Year as per the Sikh Nanakshahi Calendar falls on 14th March every year, with the beginning of Chet; and is marked with revered celebrations throughout the Sikh community.

Chaitra Pratipada

Celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar pradesh with the beginning of the Hindu New Year. New Year start with 1st day of Chaitra i.e. the beginning of the Hindu New Year.

In 2013, the Hindu new year began on 11 April.

Jude-Sheetal

Juir Sheetal (জুড়ি শীতল / जुड़ि शीतल) also known as Pahil Baisakh or Baisakhi or Maithili New Year is the celebration of the first day of the Maithili new year. This day usually falls on 14 April on Gregorian calendar by the Maithils in Mithila region of India and Nepal. This is also called Nirayana Mesh Sankranti or Tirhuta new year in some regions of Mithila.[1] The festive occasion is in keeping with the Hindu solar calendar. This day falls on the 13-14th or 14-15th of April and coincides with the new years of other eastern states of India. Sweets and greetings are exchanged. This day is also called Hanumat Dhwajadanam, the day Hanuman’s flag (and hence Mithila’s flag) is to be flown. It is also the birthday of Raja Salhesh (Shailesh – the king of Himalyas region of Mithila who won area up to Tibet) whose garden is at the Mahisautha in Siraha district headquarters of Nepal.

Hari Raya Nyepi

Nyepi is a Hindu Day of Silence or the Hindu New Year in the Balinese Saka calendar. The largest celebrations are held in Bali as well as in Balinese Hindu communities around Indonesia. On New Year’s Eve the villages are cleaned, food is cooked for two days and in the evening as much noise is made as possible to scare away the devils. On the following day, Hindus do not leave their homes, cook or engage in any activity.

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