Different ways to celebrate a New Year in India

New Year

India is a melting pot of multiple cultures, belief systems, and ways of living. Each culture also has its own way of celebrating a New Year, welcoming the year still to come in the way that is in accordance with their beliefs. While most of the world celebrates the New Year on 1st January, following the Gregorian calendar - it happens differently in India.

Some states follow the Lunar calendar, while other use the Solar calendar as their reference for time. And each New Year celebration has its own name as well! This fact itself is a testament to the uniqueness that India can boast of containing within its borders.

Now let’s take a look at the different celebrations, according to the regions to which they are particular.

1. The Kashmiri New Year, called Navreh is celebrated with great zeal throughout the state. It is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra Navratri, and is commonly held to be as sacred as Shivratri!

2. The Punjabi New Year known as Baisakhi, marks the beginning of the harvest festival, and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and pomp. Falling usually in mid-April, Baisakhi also brings together people in different regions, doubling as the day of the formation of Sikh Khalsa. Our people across countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and of course, Canada celebrate this festival with utmost enthusiasm!

3. The Telugu New Year, Ugadi, is celebrated at the beginning of the Chaitra month. It symbolises the beginning of an age, and people typically celebrate this by wearing new clothes and having the choices foods from their region. Doesn’t that sound lovely?

4. The Marathi New Year is also celebrated on Chaitra month’s first day, usually around Mid-April and it’s called Gudi Padwa. Gudi is the name of a bright yellow cloth which is tied to the tip of a long bamboo, and this is placed right outside the houses to symbolise good luck. A sugar garland is also placed on it, along with a copper pot. As with other regions, here too the new year marks a time of prosperity and jubilation.

5. Another kind of new year celebration is the Bestu Varas, which is the Gujarati New Year, and it’s celebrated the day after Diwali. Like various other regional new year celebrations, here too is a link with harvest, as this festival marks the commencement of the harvest season.

6. The Islamic (or Hijri), is celebrated on the first day of Muharram, and this date varies as per the lunar calendar. With Biryanis and a host of other mouth watering meat dishes that we all love, this time of the year is unmissable!

7. Some other new year celebrations which occur around the same time are Pohela Boishakh, the Bengali New Year, and Bohag Bihu, the Assamese New Year. This festival marks the celebration not only of the new year, but also of several cultural practices which occur around this time, including the consumption of local cuisines and wearing new clothes as a way to welcome the new year.

These are only a few ways in which new year is celebrated across India. Each culture has its own beliefs and practices - and they all combine to create a veritable crucible of celebrations!

With each new year comes the hope of a better year. We all feel it in our bones, don’t we,  that the next year undoubtedly has to be better than the one that we just experienced? And we are fully optimistic and looking forward to what life has to offer. Soon the spirit of resolutions comes knocking our doorsteps.

What we notice through all of this that the need to be protected and to protect the ones we love, is a feeling that is commonly shared by everyone- region, country, beliefs no bar! So wouldn’t it be great this New Year, if we all take one step towards joy and prosperity while being rest assured that it is here to stay, even if we aren’t around? So to say, a cushion to make sure every other New Year we celebrate truly brings the joy of celebrating our beautiful milestones in life! How about sealing this deal with in an Insurance Plan of any sort? Whether it be a term insurance, which gives regular payouts, or a health insurance, which protects you against the various pit falls that you face- insurance is definitely a smarter to be prepared both mentally and financially. And let’s not ignore how much at peace one truly feels with that sense of security! So this New Years, we wish for you what you wish for yourself, and we hope and that safeguarding your loved ones is definitely on your wishlist!

Dec 27/18

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