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Know How Each Community in India Celebrates Hindu New Year

It is a celebration of life; however, it is not a celebration of its creator

By: Jatin Damudre

Many communities in India celebrate their New Year on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada (The first day of the month of Chaitra of the Hindu Lunar Calendar). Marathi community celebrate it as Gudi Padwa, the Kanada and Telgu community celebrate it as Ugadi, Sindhi community celebrate it as Cheti Chand. Every community has its unique way of celebrating this festival, but for all, it is a day of New beginning; the day when Lord Brahma created this Universe.

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Unlike the rest of the world, which welcomes and celebrates New year on 31st December, on cold winter nights (except Australia), the Hindus prefer the warmth of the spring celebrating, at sunrise, where the molten ice has made the soil moist, tiny blades of grass have covered the earth, trees are festooned with leaves, flowers, and fruits. It is a celebration of life; however, it is not a celebration of its creator. Surprisingly Hindus don’t worship the Creator of the Universe Lord Brahma.

new beginning
12th-century Brahma with missing book and water pot, Cambodia. (Wikipedia)

Throughout puranic stories, Brahma has either been cursed to never have been worshipped, or he has had his head cut off. This is a subtle reminder to each one of us, in our own way, to be the creator and maintainer of our own life-long journey, so that people find us worthy of their acknowledgment, unlike Brahma, who has been forgotten.

The seed of creation is desire and the god of desire is the Kama. However, Shiva burns Kama to ashes, which I see as a subtler reminder to keep our intentions pure and genuine.

new beginning
Traditional Gudhi.

In a Marathi household, the day is celebrated by erecting Gudi, which stands tall on a wooden base with an offering of coconut and beetle nut. It is a wooden stick on which hangs, a sugar string, neem leaves, marigold flowers, a cloth with a border, and an inverted Kalash. The wooden base represents stability in life, while the coconut represents knowledge, the beetle nut is your commitment. The stick represents your strength, a bordered cloth represents prosperity, the sugar string is the sweetness of life and bitter neem leaves offer health and immunity, the marigold flowers represent the fruition of every task undertaken and the Kalash is an achievement. The traditional meal of the day is Shrikhand- Puri which one relishes in the company of family and friends.

new beginning
The traditional meal of the day is Shrikhand- Puri which one relishes in the company of family and friends.

ALSO READ: A Glance Into Profound Diversity Of India Through Hindu New Year

Meanwhile, as you are researching and seeking your own help, here are a couple of tips that can help you for your new beginnings:
# Let bygones be bygones – make peace with the past, ask forgiveness if need be.
# Set yourself free from guilt and self-criticism.
# Face your fears
# Let go of the things beyond your control
# Clean your clutter, it will refresh your mind
# Find time to connect with yourself and disconnect with the world, like taking a day off from your phone or the internet.

In the year 2021, we are celebrating the 2078th Hindu New Year.

We wish you a very happy Hindu New Year 2078.

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