Happy Vishu, Poila Boishak, Puthandu and Bihu: India celebrates New Year
India celebrates New Year marking the beginning of a new start and new resolutions
Indians across the country are celebrating the beginning of the New Year with four of the most colourful and vibrant festivals—Vishu, Poila Boishak, Puthandu and Bihu. While Punjabis celebrated Baisakhi (New Year) on April 13, four other communities are doing the same today (April 14).
Not only will this day mark the beginning of a new start and new resolutions it will also be a day of togetherness for families and friends. Here's a look at how these four festivals would be celebrated today!
Celebrated by Keralites, Vishu is the first day of the Malayalam month of Medam. Each year on this day, Malayalees wake up at pre-dawn hours to see the Nilavilakku lit in front of Lord Krishna.
In fact, it's the first thing that the families see in the morning. The puja room is adorned with the idol and includes rice, new cloth, gold, amaltas, books, jackfruit, mango, cucumber, coconut and betel leaves. In addition, they also prepare Vishu Sadya, which is an assortment of food items that are served on a banana leaf.
#2 Poila Boishak
Poila Boishak is the Bengali New Year, where families clean their homes and mark the beginning of fresh trade and business. In fact, it is also an auspicious time for marriages in Bengali. On this day, prayers are offered in the dawn and youngsters touch their elders' feet and wear new clothes, just like Diwali.
As far as food is concerned, Bengalis are known for their love of all things gastronomical and this day is no exception. A wide variety of sweet and savoury dishes are prepared and guests are often greeted with them.
The New Year in Tamil Nadu, Puthandu is celebrated with specific traditions and rituals. On this day, early in the morning, womenfolk adorn the entrance of the house with Kolam (rangoli). This rangoli is then decorated with a lamp with the belief that it dispels darkness. It is also customary for people to visit a temple and invoke divine blessings.
A popular custom of Puthandu is called 'kanni,' which means the auspicious sight. After this ritual, people start the day by watching auspicious things such as silver and gold jewellery, betel leaves, nuts, and fruits and vegetables, coconuts and raw rice.
This is the Assamese New Year, and is more popularly known as Rongali Bihu. This day is marked by celebratory dances and rituals and signifies happiness and merriment. This festival is all about joy, love and youthfulness.
Bihugeets and Bihu dance are also part of the festivities, where women and men dress in their silk fineries and dance on traditional Assamese songs. This type of dance is characterised by brisk foot and rapid hand movement.
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