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Indian Heritage & Culture

Traditional New Year

  • 06 Apr 2019
  • 4 min read

The President of India has greeted the people on the eve of Ugadi, Gudi Padwa, Cheti Chand, Navreh and Sajibu Cheiraoba.

  • These festivals mark the beginning of the traditional New Year in India.

Gudi Padwa and Ugadi

  • Ugadi and Gudi Padwa are the festivals, to celebrate the New Year, in the month of Chaitra Shukla Pratipada as per the Hindu Lunar Calendar, and is celebrated by the people in the Deccan region including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • The common practice in the celebrations of both the festivals is the festive food that is prepared with a mix of sweet and bitter.
    • A famous concoction served is jaggery (sweet) and neem (bitter), called bevu-bella in South, signifying that life brings both happiness and sorrows.
  • Gudi, which means a doll is prepared in Maharashtrian homes. A bamboo stick is adorned with green or red brocade to make the gudi. This gudi is placed prominently in the house or outside a window/ door for all to see.
  • For Ugadi, doors in homes are adorned with mango leaf decorations called toranalu or Torana in Kannada.

Cheti Chand

  • Sindhis celebrate the new year as Cheti Chand. Chaitra month is called 'Chet' in Sindhi.
  • The day commemorates the birth anniversary of Ishta Deva Uderolal, Jhulelal, the patron saint of Sindhis and is celebrated with great pompous and gaiety.

Navreh

  • It is the lunar New Year that is celebrated in Kashmir. It is the Sanskrit word ‘Nav Varsha’ from where the word ‘Navreh’ has been derived.
  • It actually falls on the very first day of the Chaitra Navratras.
  • On this day, Kashmiri Pandits deliberately, first of all, look at a bowl of rice, considered as a symbol of riches and fertility. A special ‘Thali’ is also prepared.

Sajibu Cheiraoba

  • It is the great ritual festival of Meiteis (an ethnic group in Manipur) which is observed on the first day of Manipur lunar month Shajibu, which falls in the month of April every year.
  • On the day of the festival, people arrange a joint family feast in which traditional cuisines are offered to local deities at the entrance gates of the houses.

Chaitra Shukla Pratipada

  • It is the first day during the waxing phase of moon in the Chaitra Month.
  • It marks the beginning of the New Year of Vikram Samvat or better known as Vedic [Hindu] Calendar.
  • This Hindu new year is known by different names in India such as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Ugadi in Telugu.
  • The famous Vikram Samvat is based on the day when the emperor Vikramaditya defeated Sakas and invaded Ujjain. He, then, called for a new era.
    • Under his supervision, astronomers formed new calendar based on luni-solar system that is still followed in the Northern regions of India.

Meities

  • The Meiteis, one of the most eminent ethnic groups of Manipur hail from the Manipur Valley and are an industrious lot.
  • They speak Tibeto-Burman language and most of the people belonging to the group, follow Hindu customs.
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