Hindu New Year 2022 today: Navreh, Cheti Chand, Gudi Padwa, Ugadi - How the nation celebrates!
The first day of Chaitra (March-April) month is celebrated across Jammu and Kashmir as Navreh or Kashmiri New Year.
New Delhi: April is here and with it comes many auspicious days and festivals marked in the month for celebrations. Today, April 2, this year marks the beginning of Hindu New Year and coincides with Chaitra Navratri Day 1 respectively. As India is a diverse land, different regions have different names for ushering in New Year celebrations as per the Hindu calendar.
Ugadi, Cheti Chand, Navreh, and Gudi Padwa among others is are celebrated extensively in India. Today, let's give you a close-up of how the country welcomes the Hindu New Year in various regions.
Navreh celebrations by Kashmiri Pandits:
The first day of Chaitra (March-April) month is celebrated across Jammu and Kashmir as Navreh or Kashmiri New Year. It is widely celebrated by the Kashmiri Pandit community where people greet everyone they meet with a warm 'Navreh Mubarak' (Happy New Year)!
Navreh is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Nava-Varsha', meaning New Year. There is a customary practice of preparing a plate full of unhusked rice with bread, a small bowl of yoghurt, salt, sugar candy, a few walnuts or almonds, a silver coin and Rs 10 note would also do, a pen, a mirror, some flowers (rose, marigold, crocus, or jasmine) and the new Panchanga or Almanac. Also, one has to keep Kashmiri Jantri (a Panchang book which has an account of all the important dates as per Kashmiri tradition).
Interestingly, all of this is prepared during the night itself as the first thing in the morning is to look at this plate, and then start your day. Kashmiri Pandits observe the same ritual of preparing the plate and looking at it in the morning on Sonth or the Kashmiri spring festival.
As per the Kashmiri Hindu calendar, the Saptarshi Era is believed to have started on the same day, about 5079 years ago.
The legend has it that the celebrated Saptarishis flocked together on the Sharika Parvat also known as Hari Parbat in Kashmir—revered as the divinely abode of the goddess Sharika, at the auspicious moment when the first ray of the sun fell on the Chakreshvara on this day and paid tribute to her.
On Navreh, Kashmiri Pandits visited the Hari Parbhat shrine to seek goddess Sharika's blessings. Also, kids wear new clothes to mark the New Year and so do the elders!
This auspicious festival will be celebrated today this year in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as people welcome the New Year by placing a Gudi outside their door or window. The occasion is usually observed on the first day of the month of Chaitra and in Konkani communities, it is celebrated as Samwatsara. On the other hand, in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, it is known as Ugadi.
People celebrate this auspicious day by decorating their doorsteps with Rangoli and a toran made of mango leaves. Prayers and flowers are offered to the Gudi after placing it on the window or door. Following this, people perform the aarti and put Akshat on the Gudi.
Ugadi marks the New Year as per the Hindu calendar in parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. On this day, dressed in their best fineries, men, women and children decorate their homes and indulge in grand festivities. Family members, friends and neighbours get together to celebrate by greeting each other and exchanging sweets and Prasadam. People also visit temples to offer their prayers to the almighty and seek blessings on the auspicious occasion.
One of the most important rather significant preparations on this day is the Ugadi Pachchadi (made of jaggery, raw mango and neem leaves/ flowers) that tastes sweet, sour and bitter. This recipe is customarily prepared at home to remind people that they need to embrace agony and ecstasy with grace because life is a blend of both joyful and sad moments.
It is known as the Sindhi New Year and is mainly celebrated by Sindhi Hindus in India and Pakistan. The festival coincides with the second day of the Chaitra Shukla Paksha in the Hindu calendar. And since on this day, the moon first appears after a no moon day, it is called Cheti Chand. This day is also known as Jhulelal Jayanti, dedicated to a deity who is regarded as the incarnation of the Hindu deity Varuna.
Here's wishing everyone a very Happy Navreh, Gudi Padwa, Cheti Chand and Ugadi!