Here I am presenting 8 types of New Year celebration in different states of India. These harvest festivals mark the first day of Hindu calendar in Karnataka, Assam, West Bengal, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra & other states and Islamic New Year.
Thanks to the cultural diversity of India, It’s that time of the year again when people can catch a glimpse of India’s diverse cultures.
Every region has a unique culture and traditions of celebrating the New Year.
The masses of the country celebrates the New Year followed by both solar and lunar calendar system.
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! The Eastern, Northern & Southern parts of the country celebrate their first harvest festival of the year – Baisakhi, Bihu, Gudi Padwa, Poila Boishakh, Vishu, Ugadi & Puthandu – with vigour and fervour.
Every year, the festivals fall on April 13 or 14, based on the Hindu or Sikh Calendar.
Here’s a look at how people celebrate their New Years…
8 Types of New Year Celebrated in India
Baisakhi – Punjab
Baisakhi is the biggest harvest festival celebrated across entire North India. Baisakhi holds a special place in the land of Five rivers, Punjab. On this day, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of Sikhs, asked people to follow Sikhism in 1699, and the Khalsa community was formed. The northern states of Punjab, Haryana and parts of Delhi celebrate this day with much fanfare.People get together, and perform bhangra and gidda on traditional folk songs and dhol.
Men show off their gatka skills (traditional form of martial-arts of the Sikh.)
The Sikh community also observes it as the day of thanksgiving for abundant harvest, and pray for future prosperity.
Bohag Bihu – North Eastern States
Also known as Rangoli Bihu, Bohag Bihu also falls on the day of Baisakhi and Puthandu in 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. Bihu dance is a form of celebration for the people
Gudi Padwa – Maharashtra
Gudi Padwa is the first day of Chaitra month and marked as the New Year in Maharashtra.
A ‘Gudi’, a beautiful arrangement of silk saree or cloth tied to stick with a ‘Lota’ on the top and then decorated with sweets and garlands made of neem and mango. The day symbolises the victory of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj over his enemies and Shalivahan’s victory over the Sakas.
Pohela Boishakh – West Bengal
Another state that celebrates a different New Year is West Bengal.The Poila or Pohela Boishakh is the first day of the Boishakh, which is the Bengali New Year. You will witness cultural celebrations all over the state, with Bengalis going on a crazy shopping spree and musical shows. Shantiniketan is well known for its Noboborsho (New Year) festivals.
Vishu – Kerala
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 an arranging harvest’s fruits, vegetables and seasonal flowers in front of a mirror. This arrangement is called the Vishu Kani. On this day, devotees also visit Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple and Guruvayur Krishna temple for prayers.
Ugadi – Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
Ugadi or Yugadi is the New Year celebration of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
It is observed in these regions on the first day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Chaitra. 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.
Puthandu – Tamilnadu
Puthandu is being celebrated on April 14 in Tamil Nadu, and Tamil-dominated countries Sri Lanka and Mauritius.
According to the Tamil Calendar Varusha Pirappu, Puthandu marks the first day of the first month (Chithirai).
The celebrations of Puthandu resonate to that of Vishu. The night before the auspicious day, a tray full of fruit, betel leaves, gold ornaments, silver jewellery, money/cash/coins and flowers are put together in the prayer room for the Lord to view as the first thing.
It is believed that the first view of these auspicious things brings happiness and prosperity for the rest of the year.
Islamic New Year
The 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 day also marks the migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD, and the journey was called Hijrah or Hijri, and hence the name ‘Hijri calendar’. The New Year is celebrated with sharing meals and prayers with the family.
TYPES OF NEW YEAR CELEBRATION IN INDIA | Youtube Video