Hindu New Year 2015 has to be discussed under multiple sub heads. This is because of the fact that Hindu New Year celebrations differ from one region to the other. This also includes the day and date on which is occasion is observed.
Hindu calendar system is based on very ancient principles. Also, it has undergone several changes over the years. This is the reason why Hindu New Year dates when calculated in accordance with the modern day Gregorian calendar gets changed from one year to the next. The basis of the calculation of the Hindu calendar is based on the fact that Hindu months are luni solar.
The panchanga or panjika or almanac also plays a pivotal role in the calculation of any festival based on the Hindu traditions including Hindu New Year. Although the various communities across the country celebrate their traditional New Year in a regional fashion, the main spirit of the festival remains unified. People pray to the deities thanking them for the blessings they have been showered with and also hoping that the favor would remain with them in the upcoming year too.
Apart from celebrations in the homes, it is often seen that the Hindu New Year is celebrated with much fervor by the business community. This is because of the fact that Hindu New Year is calculated on an auspicious day, and as such is considered proper for new beginnings or expansion of ventures. Hindu New Year is primarily celebrated with family. It is common to wear new clothes, decorate homes, enjoy festive meals and pay reverence to elders.
Hindu New Year celebrations in the various parts of India are discussed below. Although the dates and the customs may vary from one part to another, it is significant to note that the actual spirit of the event remains the same in every part of the country.
- Punjab – Baisakhi – Tuesday, April 14, 2015: This is not only the beginning of the traditional New Year, but also marks the harvest festival of Punjab. This is because of the fact that Punjab has always been primarily an agrarian State, and as such is it but obvious that there would be a festival to celebrate for the bounty of crops that the farmers have reaped and thank God for the same. The mood is celebratory. The vibe is as vibrant and colorful as any festive event in Punjab. People wear colorful new clothes and the traditional dance form of bhangra further accentuates the festive spirit.
- Assam – Rongali Bihu – Wednesday, April 15, 2015: On the first day of the Asamese month of Bohaag the State of Assam commemorates two events – the advent of their traditional New Year and the beginning of Spring season there. This occasion is celebrated with festive fervor. Traditional forms of dancing and singing are mandatory to celebrate the occasion.
- Bengal – Naba Barsha – Wednesday, April 15, 2015: This is celebrated on the first day of the Indian month of Baisakh. The day is considered auspicious to take the first step in any sphere. People worship Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity and Lord Ganesha for overall wellbeing. It is also believed that the way one spends the first day of the New Year would be a reflection on the way the person would spend the rest of the year. As such homes are cleansed and decorated, new clothes are worn, sumptuous meals are consumed, friends and family members are paid visits, and respect is paid to elders of the family.
- Tamil Nadu – Puthandu – Tuesday, April 14, 2015: Tamils celebrate New Year on the first day of their traditional month of Chithirai. It is customary to light an oil lamp on this day to eradicate all forms of darkness and also to usher in prosperity.
- Kerala – Vishu – Wednesday, April 15, 2015: New Year in Kerala is celebrated on the Malayalam month of Medam. People pray to God for the overall wellbeing in the upcoming months. It is also a custom to make an offering that is known as Vishukanni to the Gods and it is mandatory to see this Vishukanni the first thing in the morning.
- Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka – Ugadi – Saturday, March 21, 2015: This is celebrated on the first day of the Indian month of Chaitra in the bright moon phase of the month. The word Ugadi literally translated means “New Age”. It is believed that Lord Brahma created the Universe on this day. This is basically a family oriented celebration when members of the family get together for prayers and festive meals.
- Maharashtra – Gudi Padwa – Saturday, March 21, 2015: This is celebrated on the first day of the bright lunar phase of the Indian month of Chaitra. As per the legends, on this day Lord Brahma is believed to have created the Universe. This is also the day when as per the Indian epic Ramayana Lord Ram, who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, killed the Demon King Ravana and returned home. The day upholds the spirit of virtue conquering vices. Marathi households on this dau puts up a banner which is known as gudi that covers a metal pot wrapped in silk cloth and has the swastika symbol painted on it.
- Kashmir – Navreh — Saturday, March 21, 2015: The traditional Kashmiri New Year day is celebrated on the first day of the Indian month of Chaitra in the bright phase of the moon. This day finds mention in the ancient scriptures like Rajtarangini and Nilamat Purana.
- Orissa/ Odisha – Maha Vishuva Sankranti – Tuesday, April 14, 2015: This marks the traditional New Year day as per the Oriya customs. On this day people pray for good luck and prosperity in the upcoming year. Among the traditional customs, a significant one is to offer a fruit based drink that is known as pana to the deities.
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