2020 has finally come to an end and we are all set to welcome 2021! New year is celebrated all across the world on January 1. This however is in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. It's the harvesting season which is mostly synonymous with the new year celebrations in India. Did you know that this is not the only new year celebrated in India? The masses of the country celebrate the new year followed by both solar and lunar calendar systems. Hindu calendar which is based on the movement of the moon has the maximum number of new years while the other religious new years are like Islamic new year!
Being a diverse nation new year in India is celebrated in various regions at various times of the year depending on solar or lunar calendars. Primarily new year is celebrated at the time of harvesting of crops. As we welcome the new year 2021 let us take a look at the Indian new years.
Baisakhi, Punjabi New Year
The biggest harvest festival celebrated across Northern India especially in the land of Five rivers - Punjab. Baisakhi falls on either 13 April or 14 April as it is believed to be the day of the formation of the Sikh Khalsa. The main celebration takes place at the birthplace of the Khalsa and at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Apart from this the celebration of Baisakhi can also be seen in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Jude Sheetal, Maithili New Year
Popularly known as Maithili new year it is celebrated by the Maithilis in Bihar, Jharkhand and even Nepal. On this day Maithilis eat bari with bhaat (steamed rice). It is usually celebrated on 14 April according to the Gregorian calendar. This is also called Nirayana Mesh Sankranti and Tirhuta new year.
Hijri, Islamic New Year
Islamic new year starts on the first day of Muharram which is the first month of the lunar Hijri calendar that is followed by Islam. The Islamic calendar does not align with the Gregorian calendar so the date for Islamic new year or Muharram varies as per lunar calendar. The day also marks the migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD and the journey was called Hijrah or Hijri hence it is named as 'Hijri calendar'. The new year is celebrated with long-standing customs & traditions for the incoming spring. People also celebrate this day by sharing meals and prayers with the family.
Pohela Boishakh, Bengali New Year
Another state that celebrates a different new year is West Bengal. The Poila or Pohela Boishakh is the first day of the Vaisakh on which the Bengali new year is celebrated. The Nabo Barsho of Bengal is celebrated with great zeal & enthusiasm during the mid of April. You will witness cultural celebrations all over the state with Bengalis going on a crazy shopping spree and musical shows. Pohela Boishakh is not only celebrated by the Bengalis but also it is celebrated by the tribal people living in the hilly areas of Tripura.
Ugadi, Telugu New Year
Ugadi or Yugadi is the new year celebration of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. The festival is observed in the month of March-April (Chaitra month), date might vary because of the Hindu calendar system. Traditional sweets and 'Pachadi' (sweet syrup) – made with raw mangoes and neem leaves are served with the Ugadi meal. Ugadi is the festival of new beginnings so people buy new clothes and eat lots of good food with friends and family.
Bohag Bihu, Assamese New Year
Also known as Rangali Bihu, the spring festival is celebrated in the mid-April as it is the beginning of the agriculture season. The Assamese new year festival - Bihu is the most important festival of Assam. Celebrating the new harvest with lots of sweets shared among the family and friends with the exchange of more gifts. Bohag Bihu is celebrated for three days straight with many different traditions.
Gudi Padwa, Marathi New Year
Gudi Padwa is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra month and it's a new year day for Maharashtrians and Konkanis. A 'Gudi' - a beautiful arrangement of silk saree or cloth tied to stick with a 'Lota' on the top is decorated with sweets and garlands made of neem and mango. It is usually found hanging out on the right side of the main entrance of the houses. The day symbolises the victory of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj over his enemies and Shalivahan’s victory over the Sakas.
Navreh, Kashmiri New Year
Navreh according to the lunar calendar is considered Kashmiri new year and is celebrated with great fervour and sanctity. It falls on the first day of the Chaitra Navratri and is regarded as sacred as Shivratri. In the other parts of India it is observed as the new year’s day like Gudi Padwa, Ugadi and cheti chand the new year day of Sindhi people.
Vishu, Malayalam New Year
Similar to the other new year festivals observed elsewhere in India, Vishu falls on April 14 of the Gregorian calendar. Vishu festival marks the beginning of harvest in the bountiful land of Kerala. It is a festival full of lights and fireworks. The day starts with arranging harvest's fruits, vegetables and seasonal flowers in front of a mirror. This arrangement is called the Vishu Kani. Vishu Kani means the first object viewed in the morning. On this day devotees also visit Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple and Guruvayur Krishna temple for prayers. It is one of the most popular traditional festivals followed by people of Kerala.
Jamshedi Navroz, Parsi New Year
Novruz is the Iranian new year also known as Persian new year is celebrated worldwide by many ethnolinguistic groups. It is celebrated to mark the beginning of the Iranian calendar. In Persian ‘Nav’ stands for new and ‘Roz’ stands for the day which literally translates to ‘new day’. The tradition is believed to have been celebrated for the past 3,000 years and is observed by Iranians and the Parsi community around the world. The Parsi new year is usually celebrated on August 16. However dates may vary as per the calendar.
What are your plans for the new year? Let us know in the comments below. Here’s wishing you all a Happy New Year! For fast and easy train ticket booking, book your tickets through Trainman app. Download Trainman App to check PNR Status of the ticket booked, Train Seat Availability, Running Status and many more features.