New Delhi: India is known for its unity in diversity. All communities celebrate New Year but refer to it differently. Various communities in India celebrate New Year in India which begins in the month of April.
Tamilians, Telugu, Marathi, Konkanis, Punjabi, Malayalis, Assamse and Bengalis celebrate New Year in this month with fervour and merriment.
Telugus had already celebrated Ugadi, Marathis had celebrated Gudi Parba and the state of Punjab celebrated Baisakhi on April 13.
However, Bengalis, Assamese, Tamils and Malayalis to celebrate their respective New Year on Thursday, April 14.
The day marks the beginning of a new year and the start of the harvest festival. Pohela Boishakh (Noboborsho). Puthandu, Bihu and Vishu are the name of Bengali New Year, Tamil New Year, Assamese New Year and Malayali New Year respectively.
Bengalis celebrate Pohela Boishakh by greeting ‘Shubho Noboborsho’. In Bengali, ‘Poila’ means first and ‘Boishakh’ is the first and foremost month of the Bengali calendar.
(Also read: It’s time for carnival! It’s time for Bihu!)
This auspicious day marks the beginning of fresh trade and business. A special puja, Haal Khata, is performed in shops and offices that kick starts the beginning of a new business year on Poila Boishakh.
Bengalis all across the world celebrate this day with enthusiasm. Following the tradition, young ones touch the feet of their elders as a mark of respect and don new clothes.
People of Assam celebrate Bohag Bihu which marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year. It is more popularly known as Rongali Bihu. The word ‘Rong‘ itself signifies happiness and merriment. The festival of ‘Rongali Bihu‘ is all about joy, love and youthfulness. Bihugeets and Bihu are also part of the festivities.
Tamilians celebrate Puthandu and greet each other with ‘Puthandu Vazhthukal’. The eve of Puthandu marks the making of a tray filled with three kinds of fruits – mango, banana and jackfruit. It also has betel leaves and areca nuts, jewellery, coins, flowers and a mirror. It is believed that this tray has to be viewed just after waking up in the morning. A feast and decorations wrap up the day.
Malayalis celebrate Vishu on the same day. People wear new clothes and give money to young kids as part of the tradition which is called ‘Vishu Kaineettam’, greet one another saying ‘Vishu Ashamsakal’ and visit temples to offer prayers.