13th April this year is marked as the most important day, as it marks the New Year of Hindus according to Chaitra Maas Shukla Paksha (Hindu Lunar Calendar).Vikram Samvat 2078 is beginning from today 13th April. Beginning of Chaitra Maas also marks the beginning of Navratri. According to astrologers this year’s VikramSamvat is considered more significant which can influence our lives immensely.
India is known as the nation of diverse festivals and cultures and when it is the occasion of Hindu New Year it begins with many rituals and celebrations. And different religious communities celebrate it by different names and in their own ways. So, let’s see how different religions welcome this New Year.
1) Gudi Padwa
GudiPadwa is celebrated by Maharashtiancommunitys. People on this day decorate their homes with beautiful flowers, embellish their entrances with Torans of Mango and Rangolis. This day devotees pray to Lord Brahma and hoist the Gudi flag ( it’s basically a garland which is augmented with flowers, mango and neem leaves, and upturned silver or copper vessel is placed on the top.) also Gudi is symbolized as victory flag. This day is usually celebrated in Maharashtra and Goa. It is also considered as a spring time festival.
It is celebrated as Telgu New Year, celebrated with fervor in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. It begins with the ritual of oil bath early in the morning and people wear new clothes, go to temples and prayers for Lord Brahma, chant some mantras with Turmeric rice and jasmine flowers. Devotees performs Hawans, make colorful rangolis in front of the image of Lord Brahma and before the day of festival, houses are stringently cleaned, Mango leaves are combined together like a wreath and hanged at the entrance.
Characterised as Sikh New Year, it’s the splendid festival of harvests. It is believed on this day the last Sikh Guru , Guru Gobind Singh had established the Khalsa in 1699 and proclaimed all human beings to be equal. It is celebrated mainly in Punjab and Harya. On this day Sikhs go to Gurdwaras, offer prayers, indulge in various festivities like nagarkirtans, langars are organized, their traditional Kada Prasad is distributed. In the evening they become ready for Bhangras and Giddas.
4) Cheti Chand
Marked as the new year of Sindhi Community, it is celebrated to mark the birth of Jhulelal, the patron saint of Sindhis, hence also known as Jhulelal Jayanti, It begins with the prayer of Jhulelal by taking a Bahrana Sahib which represents Jhulelal and carry it to a nearby lake or river by organizing street processions. And then in the evening get togethers, dinners are arranged
5) Poila Baisakh
Known as Bengali new year, it is celebrated on 14th or15th April just after Vikram Samvat 2078. On this day Bengali people greet each other by saying ‘ shubho nobo borso’ which means happy new year. It is considered as the first day of vaishakh month and believed that vaishakh month is an auspicious and bring the good omens so all the new and essential activities is done by Bengalis during this time like marriages, purchasing new houses, vehicles, opening of bank accounts etc. On this day Bengali people cook delicious traditional dishes after doing prayers.
6) Rongali Bihu
It is celebrated as a new year in Assam. It is celebrated to mark Assam’s Harvest festival and starting of Assamese New Year. It will begin on 14th April and end on 20th April. It observes the festivities of ethnic groups. On these days people wear traditional attires, exchange gifts ,sing folk songs and dance to the rhythm of bihu tunes and make their traditional dish Pithas (a rice pan cake.) and share it with their friends and relatives.