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New Year Festivals

Focus: GS I- Festivals, Facts for Prelims

 Why in News?

The President of India greeted the people on the eve of “ Chaitra Sukladi, Ugadi, Gudi Padwa, Cheti Chand, Navreh and Sajibu Cheiraoba.”.​

  • These festivals of the spring season mark the beginning of the traditional new year in India.

Chaitra Sukladi:

  • It is the start of the Vikram Samvat, widely known as the Vedic [Hindu] calendar’s new year.
  • Vikram Samvat commemorates the day when Emperor Vikramaditya conquered the Sakas, invaded Ujjain, and declared the beginning of a new era.
  • It is the first day of the waxing phase (in which the visible side of the moon gets bigger every night) of the moon in the Chaitra month, which is still followed in the northern parts of India (first month of Hindu calendar).

Gudi Padwa and Ugadi:

  • People in the Deccan area, which includes Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra, celebrate these festivals. Festive food prepared with a blend of sweet and bitter flavours is a frequent practise in both festivals’ celebrations.
  • A popular concoction includes jaggery (sweet) and neem (bitter), known as bevu-bella in the South and symbolising life’s joys and tragedies. Gudi is a Maharashtrian doll that is made at home. The gudi is made from a bamboo pole covered in green or red brocade. This gudi is displayed prominently in the house or outside a window or entrance so that everyone can see it.
  • Mango leaf decorations known as toranalu or Torana in Kannada are used to decorate doors in households for Ugadi.

Cheti Chand:

  • The Sindhi New Year is known as Cheti Chand. In Sindhi, the month of Chaitra is referred to as ‘Chet.’
  • The day honours the birth anniversary of Sindhis’ patron saint, Uderolal/Jhulelal.

 Navreh:

  • It is the lunar new year celebrated in Kashmir, and the word ‘Navreh’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Nav-Varsha.’
  • It occurs on the Chaitra Navratri’s first day.
  • On this day, Kashmiri pandits look at a bowl of rice, which is thought to represent wealth and fertility.

Sajibu Cheiraoba:

  • It is the Meiteis’ (a Manipur ethnic group) big ritual celebration, which takes place on the first day of the Manipur lunar month Shajibu, which falls in April every year.
  • On the festival day, residents organise a combined family feast during which traditional cuisines are served to local deities at the houses’ entrance gates.
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