meaning the ‘the world is a family’? To me, it seems like something real. If we dig back a couple of hundred years, or go back 2 centuries, we see that there were a lot of similarities in the way different people perceived things, atleast when we look at our celebrations. And one thing that we notice typically in the month of April, is how different cultures, distantly located celebrate their New Year during 13th - 15th April or with the beginning of spring. Let’s have a look:
>>The Water Festival is the form of similar new year celebrations taking place in many Southeast Asian countries
, on the day of the full moon of the 11th month on the lunisolar calendar each year. The date of the festival was originally set by astrological calculation, but it is now fixed from April 13 to 15. Traditionally people gently sprinkled water on one another as a sign of respect, but since the new year falls during the hottest month in Southeast Asia, many people end up dousing strangers and passersby in vehicles in boisterous celebration. The festival has many different names specific to each country:
>>In Burma it is known as Thingyan.
>>Songkran in Thailand
>>Pi Mai Lao in Laos
>>Chaul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia.
>>It is also the traditional new year of the Dai peoples of Yunnan Province, China.
Religious activities in the tradition of Theravada Buddhism are also carried out, a tradition in which all of these cultures share.
>>The Baloch Hindu
people in Pakistan and India celebrate their new year called Bege Roch in the month of Daardans according to their Saaldar calendar.
>>Nepal New Year
is celebrated on the 1st of Baisakh Baisākh (12–15 April) in Nepal. Nepal follows Vikram Samvat as an official calendar (not to be confused with Nepal Era New year).
>>Sinhalese New Year
is celebrated with the harvest festival (in the month of Bak) when the sun moves from the Meena Rashiya (House of Pisces) to the Mesha Rashiya (House of Aries). Sri Lankans begin celebrating their National New Year "Aluth Avurudda" in Sinhala and “Puththandu” in Tamil. However, unlike the usual practice where the new year begins at midnight, the National New Year begins at the time determined by the astrologers by calculating the exact time that sun goes from Meena Rashiya (House of Pisces) to the Mesha Rashiya (House of Aries) .
We talked about the Indian New-Years across different cultures in our previous issues, let’s look at them closely:
>>Tamil New Year
is celebrated in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, on the first of Chithrai (April 13, 14, or 15). In some parts of Southern Tamil Nadu, it is also called Chithrai Vishu. The day is marked with a feast in Hindu homes and the entrance to the houses are decorated elaborately with kolams.
is celebrated on April 13/14 in Punjab according to their nanakshahi calendar.
>>The Dogra of Himachal Pradesh
celebrate their new year Chaitti in the month of Chaitra.
>>Maithili New Year or Jude-Sheetal
too fall on these days. It is celebrated by Maithili People all around the world.
>>Assamese New Year (Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu)
is celebrated on April 14 or 15 in the Indian state of Assam.
>>Bengali New Year
(Bengali:Pôhela Boishakh or Bengali: Bangla Nôbobôrsho) is celebrated on the 1st of Boishakh (April 14 or 15) in Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal and Tripura.
>>Odia New Year (Vishuva Sankranti)
is celebrated on April 14 in the Indian state of Odisha. It is also called Vishuva Sankranti or Pana Sankranti.
>>Manipuri New Year or Cheirouba
is celebrated on April 14 in the Indian State of Manipur with much festivities and feasting.
>>Malayali New Year (Malayalam:Vishu)
is celebrated in the South Indian state of Kerala in mid-April.
>>Western parts of Karnataka where Tulu is spoken, the new year is celebrated along with Tamil/ Malayali New year April 14 or 15, although in other parts most commonly celebrated on the day of Gudi Padwa, the Maharashtrian new year. In Kodagu, in Southwestern Karnataka, however, both new year, Yugadi (corresponding to Gudi Padwa in March) and Bisu (corresponding to Vishu in around April 14 or 15), are observed.