New Delhi, April 15, 2021: India being a vast nation with plenty of cultures merged together, the festivals all throughout the year are seemingly endless. We have different new years in India.
While the world celebrates the onset of every New Year on January 1, yet there are numerous religious and traditional new years, which vary from place to place and differ from region to region.
Different New Years in India
On April 15, it’s Poila Baishak, the first day of Bengali New Year. As diverse is Indian culture, the different new years in India of our country are also diverse and beautiful. The major and notable traditional New Year celebrations throughout India are as follows.
- Ugadi (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka)
- Gudi Padwa (Maharashtra, Goa)
- Navreh (Kashmiri Hindus)
- Ashadhi Bij (Kutch)
- Balipratipada (Gujarat,Rajasthan)
- Cheti Chand (Sindhis)
- Puthandu (Tamil Nadu)
- Chingam (Kollam era calendar)
- Bisu Parba (Tulu Nadu)
- Sajibu Cheiraoba (Manipur)
- Buisu (Tripura)
- Bwisagu (Bodoland)
- Bohag Bihu (Assam)
- Pana Sankranti (Odisha)
- Jur Sital (Mithila)
- Losoong/Namsong (Sikkim, Bhutia, Lepcha)
- Galdan Namchot (Ladakh)
- Losar (Arunachal Pradesh)
- Monpa (Sangken)
- Bizhu (Chakmas)
- Pateti (Parsis)
- Nowruz (Zoroastrians)
Celebration of different new years in India
In India, any occasion is celebrated with great fervour and joy. Same is the case with the different new years in India. Let’s take a look at the popular new years celebrations in India:
Pana Sankranti, Odisha: It is also known as Maha Bishuba Sankranti and marks the traditional new year day of Odias in Odisha. The occasion occurs in the solar Odia calendar on the very first day of the traditional solar month of Mesa. The major celebrations are Chadak Parba, Meru Jatra and Jhaamu Jatra.
Jamshedi Navroz – (Novruz refers to the Iranian New Year which is celebrated by numerous ethnolinguistic groups all across the world. Parsis celebrate Navroz in India, which falls on the next day of Pateti.)
Islamic New Year – (It starts on the very first day of Muharram, which is the first month of the lunar Hijri calendar. It is followed by Islam and the day marks the migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD. His journey was called Hijrah/Hijri, and therefore the name ‘Hijri calendar’. This day is celebrated by sharing prayers and meals with family and friends.)
Jude Sheetal, Jharkhand, Bihar – (It is also known as Maithili New Year and is celebrated by all the Maithilis in Jharkhand and Bihar and Nepal too. It is mostly celebrated on the April 14 as per the Gregorian calendar.)
Baisakhi, Punjab – (It is the largest harvest festival celebrated across whole of North India as it holds a special significance in Punjab. It is the first day of the Vaisakh month and the Sikhs of Punjab celebrate this day as the formation of the Sikh Khalsa. It is mainly celebrated at the birthplace of the Khalsa as well as in the Golden Temple, Amritsar.)
One country, different flavours
Though India participates in the New Year celebrations, it’s interesting to note that Indian’s celebrate not one but many New Years’.
India is one such country, which finds an occasion to celebrate. A land of diverse cultures, religions and languages, the communities follow their own calendars and has their own new years. We have listed some of the new years for you:
Poila Baishak, West Bengal – (It is the first day of the Vaisakh, meaning the Bengali New Year. Cultural celebrations all across West Bengal, with Bengalis exchanging sweets, enjoying music and dance with road processions are the main attractions.)
Vishu, Kerala – ( Marks the beginning of harvest in Kerala as it is a festival of lights and fireworks. It starts with an arrangement of new year’s harvest’s fruits, vegetables and seasonal flowers in front of a mirror which is called the Vishu Kani. People visit the Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple as well as Guruvayur Krishna temple on this day.)
Ugadi, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh – (It is the New Year celebration of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka and is observed on the very first day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Chaitra. Traditional sweets with special ‘ Pachadi ‘ which is made with tsngy raw mangoes, neem leaves sugar syrup etc is served with the Ugadi meal. It is the festival of new beginnings and people buy new clothes while also eating lots of good cuisines with family and friends.)
Gudi Padwa, Maharashtra – (It is the first day of Chaitra month and is marked as the New year in Maharashtra. Gudi is a arrangement of silk saree/cloth, tied to a stick with a Lota on top. It is decorated with sweets, garlands made of neem leaves and mango. It symbolises the victory of Shalivahans over the Sakas and Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj over his enemies.)
Bohag Bihu, North Eastern States – (It is also known as Rangali Bihu and falls on the day of Puthandu and Baisakhi in Assam. It celebrates the new harvest with sweets which is exchanged between family and friends along with special gifts. It is celebrated for three whole days with Bihu dance and many different traditions and rituals.)