5 Beautiful Indian New Year Traditions

Posted on 30th November 2015

In just a month’s time 2015 will come to an end, and most of us will be welcoming in the New Year with parties and champagne – or at least staying up to watch Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny. However, Indian New Year traditions are very different. For a start, it doesn’t happen on 1st January, as most Indian festivals are based on the Hindu lunisolar calendar. India is culturally rich and every region has its own traditions; because of this, different parts of India celebrate New Year festivals at different times of the year. Here are just five of the most exciting and beautiful.


Ugadi

Ugadi, which means ‘the beginning of a new age’, is the New Year’s Day in the Deccan region of India. Celebrated with feasting and prayer for health and wealth in the New Year, Ugadi is marked by the symbolic eating of a dish with six tastes, representing different emotions and experiences.


Holi

Also known as the festival of colours, Holi is an ancient Hindu spring festival that has grown in popularity with non-Hindus, spreading from South Asia to Europe and America. Thousands gather on the streets to paint each other with dry colour powder and coloured water in a day of play and celebration. Holi has become a popular festival in London; this year’s Holi One was the third and most popular, with colour-throwing and music in Wembley Park.



Baisakhi

Celebrated on 13th or 14th April, Baisakhi is the celebration of the Sikh New Year and the founding of the Sikh community in 1699. Originally a harvest festival in the Punjab, Baisakhi is now the most important Sikh festival – although it is still celebrated as a harvest festival across North Indian states.


Puthandu

Also celebrated on 14th April, Puthandu is the Tamil New Year. Entrances to houses are decorated with patterns called kolams, with a lamp placed in the centre to eradicate darkness. A ritual called kanni, meaning ‘auspicious sight’, takes place, where people view a tray of fruit, flowers, jewellery, coins, and a mirror first thing in the morning. Kanni is believed to bring good luck for the New Year.


Bohag Bihu

Three Bihu festivals are celebrated in Assam each year across all castes and religions, but Bohag Bihu is the most popular. Celebrating the Assamese New Year and the start of spring, Bohag Bihu is celebrated with feasting, dancing, folk songs, the preparation of paddy fields and the worshipping of cows.


If you want a celebration as exciting as any of these Indian New Year traditions, why not come to Chakra this Christmas or New Year? With four authentic Indian menus from £15 per person, give your guests a Christmas with a difference. Make a booking today to avoid disappointment.

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