Friday, April 8, 2016

Happy Ugadi, Gudi Padwa, Cheti Chand and Chaitra Navratri! ~Know everything about these Indian festivals.


Today we are celebrating New Year as per the Hindu Lunar Calendar in India. A proud example of unity in diversity, the celebrations take on different names in different parts of the country but the emotions and prayers remain the same. 


Here a little peek into this New Year festival and the variant ways it is celebrated across India.


  • Celebrated as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra and Goa, Ugadi in Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Cheti Chand by the Sindhi community and Chaitra Navratri/Vasanta Navratri/Ram Navratri in North India, today is the first day of the New Year as per the Hindu Luni-Solar Calendar.

  • Today marks the first day of Chaitra which begins with the new moon in March/April and is believed to be the first month in the Panchang (Calendar). 

  • Today i.e 8th April 2016 is the starting of the year 2073 as per the Vikram Samvat which is also known the Vikram era. 

  • Vikram Samvat is an Indian calendar starting in 57 BC. The Vikram Samvat calendar starts half a century before the Gregorian calendar and works on an Indian calendar cycle. The current AD BC Gregorian calendar takes lot of inspiration from the Vikram Samvat calendar.

  • It is believed that Lord Brahma, who is believed to be the creator of the universe, created life on earth today. 


  • People observe fast, clean their houses and decorate their homes with mango leaves and rangoli designs.
Rangoli
Image source: pixabay.com

  • Prayers are held in temples and at homes where everyone prays for a happy and prosperous new year.

  • Priests read the horoscope for the new year and make predictions.


  • This day is considered auspicious and lucky for starting any new venture.

  • Greetings are exchanged among friends and family and the New Year rejoiced with family.



Gudi Padwa:



  • People celebrating Gudi Padwa hang "gudhis" on their windows on this day to celebrate Mother Nature's bounty.


  • A "gudi" is a decorated pole with a brass or a silver vessel placed on it.

A Gudi.
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org

  • The day of Gudi Padwa begins with an oil-bath and eating Neem leaves ritual followed by prayers.

Chaitra Navratri or Vasanta Navratri or Ram Navratri:


  • People celebrating Chaitra Navratri observe fast for nine days because this is a nine day festival. "Navratri" means Nine Nights.
Image Source: HinduGodWallpaper.com

  • Nine forms of Goddess Shakti are worshipped with each day dedicated to one form.

  • It is believed that any and all wishes are granted by the Goddess during these nine days.

  • Any donation made yield tenfold good karma when made during this time. So people generously help the poor and make extensive donations to charity during these nine days.

  • The ninth day is believed to be Lord Ram's birthday and celebrated as Ram Navmi. Hence Chaitra Navratri is also known as Ram Navratri.



Cheti Chand:


  • Cheti Chand is an important festival celebrated by the Sindhi community of India and Pakistan.

  • Cheti means Chaitra or Spring.

  • The date of Cheti Chand is decided based on the Hindu Calendar.

  • According to Hindu calendar, Cheti Chand is celebrated on the second day of Chaitra Shukla Paksha. Most of the times, it is celebrated one day after Ugadi and Gudi Padwa.

  • It is the day when the New Moon becomes visible after no moon day. Due to the first appearance of the moon during the Cheti month, this day is known as Cheti Chand.


  • The Sindhi community celebrates the festival of Cheti Chand to commemorate the birth anniversary of Ishtadeva Uderolal, popularly known as Jhulelal, the patron saint of Sindhis.

  • The exact year of the birth of Saint Jhulelal is not known but he was born during the 10th century in Sindh. This was the time when Sindh came under the rule of Sumras. Sumras were tolerant to all other religions. However a tyrant named Mirkshah was threatening Sindhi Hindus to either convert to Islam or face the death. Sindhis prayed to the river God to protect them from the forced conversion. It is stated that their prayers were heard after forty days of worship. River God promised them that the divine child would be born in Nasarpur to save them from the tyrant. The child was known as Saint Jhulelal.


  • This day is considered highly auspicious and is celebrated with much fanfare. The water which is the elixir of life is worshipped on this day.

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Let this be a delightful year full of delightful things and may all your wishes come true this new year.

Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff wishes you a very Happy New Year, Gudi Padwa, Ugadi and Chaitra Navratri!



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