According to the Christian tradition, January 1 marks the beginning of a New Year. In India, it is celebrated in two ways-the traditional way and Goa celebration. Though the New Year is celebrated according to both solar and lunar calendars, most of the new year festivals based on Hindu calendar follow the lunar one. The same occasion is celebrated with different names like Baisakhi, Gudi Padwa and Cheriaoba. Here are some ways in which New Year is celebrated across different parts of the country: –
Ugadi is the Telugu New Year. It signifies the beginning of an age and is celebrated in both Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The occasion is celebrated in the month of March or April (Chaitra according to the Hindu calendar). It is a festival to celebrate the new beginning and is time to enjoy some good food and acquire new clothes. Traditionally, men dress in a white or off-white linen with a cotton lungi with a gold zari embellishment. Women wear brocade saris like Kanjivaram or Bangalore Silk in bright colours and thick, gold zari borders apart from jewelry. On this special day, oil baths are taken by devotees before offering prayers to facilitate good things in the new year. After bat, people decorate their homes with Kolam or rangoli. Mango leaves are attached to doors and windows.
This is the largest harvest festival in north India and is celebrated with great pomp and show. Normally, Baisakhi is celebrated on April 13th April, it is occasionally also celebrated on 14th April to mark the creation of the Sikh Khalsa. Men usually the kurta and lungi, while women wear salwar kameez or traditional lehenga choli. At gurdwaras, the Guru Granth Sahib is offered a symbolic bath in milk and water. It is then read out to devotees. After Baisakhi Ardas at noon, the Karah Prasad (sweetened semolina) is offered to the guru to acquire his blessings before being distributed among devotees. It ends with guru-ka-langar or community lunch.
Gudi Padwa is Marathi New Year. It is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra as New Year for Marathis and Konkanis. During this occasion, a gudi is hanged on the right side the entrance gate of residential apartments. Gudi is a bright yellow cloth which is tied to a long bamboo’s tip. A long bamboo and copper pot is placed on it with along with a sugar garland. After setting up the gudi, a prayer is offered to Lord Bramha. Youngsters then form a pyramidal structure. One of the climbs on the pyramid to break a coconut placed on the gudi.
Women wear bright coloured saris, draped in a unique manner to make the bottom half resemble dhoti pants rather than a long skirt. These saris come with gold embellishments on the border. Other parts of the sari are plain.