India has a diverse culture. We can get a glimpse of this culture in the way that people from different states celebrate their respective new year. Baisakhi, Vishu, Bihu, Puthandu and Poila Boishakh are the names of the new year festivals from different parts of India. Each year, these festivals fall on either April 13 or 14 and this is based on the Hindu or Sikh calendar.
Let’s take a look at Baisakhi, the New Year of northern India. This year, Baisakhi fell on April 14. On this day in 1699, the tenth Guru (a person who preaches spiritual wisdom) of Sikhs asked people to follow Sikhism. Sikhs are people associated with Sikhism, a religion established in the 15th century in northern India. The northern states of Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi celebrate this day in a grand way. People gather and dance to folk songs. The Sikh community observes this day as a day of thanksgiving for a fruitful harvest and pray for prosperity in the future.
Vishu is the New Year of Kerala and is a festival of lights observed in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Houses are decorated with lights and firecrackers are burst. New clothes are purchased for the occasion and there is a grand feast consisting of food that taste sweet, salty, sour and bitter. On this auspicious day, there is a ritual arrangement in the prayer room of the house. This arrangement consists of items that bring prosperity: rice, vegetables, fruits, betel leaves, flowers, and coins. These items are arranged the night before Vishu.
is the Assamese New Year celebrated across the state of Assam in northeastern India. On this day, various delicacies and sweetmeats are made. Children, men and women can be seen singing, eating, giving gifts, seeking blessings from elders, donning new clothes and carrying out the traditional Bihu dance.
Puthandu is the name given to the New Year’s celebration in Tamil Nadu. This year, it fell on April 14. It is celebrated both in Tamil Nadu and in countries where Tamilians are common such as Mauritius and Sri Lanka. Puthandu marks the first day of the first month of the Tamil calendar. The celebrations are reminiscent of Vishu. The night before the date, a tray filled with gold and silver ornaments, fruits, coins and flowers are arranged in the prayer room.
Pahela Baishakh is the name of the Bengali New Year. It is celebrated on April 15 in West Bengal and some parts of Tripura. It is the first day of the first month according to the Bengali calendar. Houses are decorated with rangoli (colorful patterns made on the ground). The day is celebrated with Bengali dances and songs in traditional clothes. Various activities such as drawing, painting, and recitation of poetry are held.
As you can see, India consists of diverse cultures coexisting simultaneously and harmoniously with each other. I hope you were able to get a taste of the myriad New Year’s festivals held in India. How about paying a visit to India in mid-April so that you can see these customs with your own eyes?
So, what is the word I would like you to remember today? It is ‘celebrate’. Let’s see how this word is used. It can be used in a variety of sentences as follows:
- I am looking forward to celebrating my sister’s birthday.
- I will celebrate my graduation day with my friends and parents.
- The cherry-blossoming season is a time of celebration.
- She celebrated her birthday in a grand way.
- I look forward to celebrating your success at work.
- She celebrated the school’s annual day with her friends and teachers.
Hello! My name is Priya and I’m from Mumbai in India. My hobbies are reading, writing, swimming and watching movies. I look forward to sharing my blogs with you!