New Delhi: The month of April marks the beginning of New Year for many Indian communities as people begin celebrations for Ugadi, Cheti Chand, Navreh and Bohag Bihu.
Although they all celebrate the arrival of a New Year, each festival is celebrated in its unique style with distinctive traditions. Have a look at how Indians welcome the New Year in their own special way:
Gudi Padwa or Ugadi: This joyous festival will be celebrated today (April 13) as people in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh welcome the New Year by placing a Gudi and outside their door or window.
The occasion is usually observed on the first day of the month of Chaitra and in Konkani communities, it is celebrated as Samwatsara. On the other hand, in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, it is known as Ugadi.
People celebrate this auspicious day by decorating their doorsteps with Rangoli and a toran made of mango leaves. Prayers and flowers are offered to the Gudi after placing it on the window or door. Following this, people perform the aarti and put Akshat on the Gudi.
Cheti Chand: This festival, also celebrated today (April 13), is commonly known as the Sindhi New Year and is mainly celebrated by Sindhi Hindus in India and Pakistan. The festival coincides with the second day of the Chaitra Shukla Paksha in the Hindu calendar. And since on this day, the moon first appears after a no moon day, it is called Cheti Chand. This day is also known as Jhulelal Jayanti, dedicated to a deity who is regarded as the incarnation of the Hindu deity Varuna.
Navreh: This New Years festival, coinciding with Cheti Chand, Ugadi and Bohag Bihu, is mainly celebrated in Jammu and Kashmir as Nevreh or Kashmiri New Year. The name of the festival is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Nava-Varsha’ meaning New Year and so people greet each other with a ‘Navreh Mubarak'(Happy New year) on this day.
Kashmiris enjoy this occasion by preparing a plate full of unhusked rice with bread, a small bowl of yoghurt, salt, sugar candy, a few walnuts or almonds, a silver coin or a Rs 10 note, a pen, a mirror, some flowers (rose, marigold, crocus, or jasmine) and the new panchanga
The plate is prepared during the night itself as the first thing in the morning is to look at it, and then start your day.
Bohag Bihu: Marking the beginning of the Assamese New Year, Bohag Bihu begins on Wednesday (April 14) and ends on Tuesday (April 20). It is mainly celebrated in the northeastern State of Assam over a period of 7 days or pinnacle phases – ‘Sot’, ‘Raati’, ‘Goru’, ‘Manuh’, ‘Kutum’, ‘Mela’ and ‘Sera’.
The first phase is performed around an ancient tree or an open field lit and for the last phase, people end the celebrations by contemplating their future goals and plans. Families also exchange an Assamese sweet called Pitha to share their celebratory joy.
We wish our readers a very happy Gudi Padwa, Cheti Chand, Navreh and Bohang Bihu!