Wednesday, April 14, 2010

India Celebrate New Year In Different Shades

Today is 14th April, the new year day in India. It marks the biggest harvest festival and beginning of a new Hindu solar year, different parts of the country celebrate the new year in different hues. Baisakhi - celebrated in Punjab and North India, Bihu in Assam, Nabo Barsho or Poila Boishakh in Bengal, Vishu in Kerala, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Maha Vishuba Sankranti in Orissa. In many places the day is marked by ritualistic bathing in sacred rivers like the Ganges.


In Punjab, the celebrations start early as devotees, with flowers and offering in their hands, proceed towards the gurdwaras and temples before dawn. Processions through cities are also common. Baisakhi is the day on which the Khalsa (the pure ones) was born and Sikhs are given a clear identity and a code of conduct to live by. The event was led by the last living Guru, Guru Govind Singh Ji.

Shubho Nabo Barsho (Poila Boishakh)

In Bengal, on this day, Bengalis wear new clothes and go about socializing. Poila Boishakh is the day for cultural programs. Prayers are offered for the well-being and prosperity of the family. This day being auspicious, new businesses and new ventures are started.


Bihu, the Assamese new year is a time of merriment and feasting that continue, in general, for seven days. The farmers prepare the fields for cultivation of paddy. The cows are washed and worshipped on the last day of previous year. On the new year day, people wear new clothes and village elders move from one house to another singing carols called husoris.


The most important part of Vishu is the Vishukkani - the first to be seen on the day. According to the age-old belief of Malayalees, an auspicious kani (first sight) at the crack of dawn on the vishu day would prove lucky for the entire year. As a result, the Vishukkani is prepared with a lot of care to make it the most positive sight so as to bring alive a wonderful, propitious and prosperous new year.


Puthandu, the day is marked with a feast in Tamil homes and entrances to the houses are decorated elaborately with kolams. This day is celebrated by some communities with neem flowers and raw mangoes to symbolize growth and prosperity.

Maha Vishuba Sankranti

Maha Vishuba Sankranti , also known as Mesha Sankranti and Pana Sankranti. It is noted for subdued celebrations. The highlight of the day is the preparation of sweet drink called 'Pana', which is made of fruits, milk, card etc. Cultural programs are organized in some regions including literary meetings. People visit various temples and offer prayers and special pujas.

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