New Delhi [India], April 2: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday extended greetings on the traditional Indian new year wishing people happiness and good health.
“Greetings on Gudi Padwa. I wish you happiness and good health this year. May all your wishes be fulfilled in the coming year,” tweeted the Prime Minister.
Marking the beginning of the traditional new year, Gudi Padwa is primarily celebrated by the people in Maharashtra and Goa. The auspicious festival derives its name from two words — ‘gudi’, which is the flag of Lord Brahma and ‘padwa’, which signifies the first day of the phase of the moon.
The occasion signals the onset of the warmer days and the spring season.
The festival is observed with colourful floor decorations, a special Gudhi flag garlanded with flowers, mango and neem leaves, and topped with upturned silver or copper vessels, street processions, dancing and festive foods like shrikhand puri.
Gudi Padwa coincides with the first day of the Chaitra Navratra and festivals like Sajibu Cheiraoba, Navreh, Cheti Chand and Ugadi, which are celebrated in different parts of the country.
Today also marks the Hindu new year according to the Vikram Samwat calendar.
“Happy Navratri to all the countrymen. May this festival of worship of Shakti infuse new energy in everyone’s life,” tweeted the Prime Minister.
Celebrated during the spring season, Chaitra Navratri or Vasant Navratri is considered an important nine-day celebration for Hindus.
This year, the festival starts on April 2 and will end on April 11. The first day of Chaitra Navratri falls during the ‘Shukla Paksha’ of the moon, which is the full moon phase. The rituals performed during the nine days in order to worship Goddess Durga vary each day. It also marks the birthday of Lord Rama, which usually falls on the ninth day during the Navratri festivity. Hence, it is also known as Rama Navratri.
Sajibu Cheiraoba is the lunar new year festival of the people who follow the Sanamahism religion of Manipur. While festive food, offerings and prayers are a part of the festivities for the day, it is believed that the feast for the occasion is usually prepared by the men in the family, while women assist them in chopping and washing the ingredients.
“Greetings to everyone, especially the people of Manipur on the special occasion of Sajibu Cheiraoba. I pray for a happy and healthy year ahead,” PM Modi said.
For Kashmiri Hindus, Navreh marks the new year.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said, “Navreh Poshte! Wishing you all a happiness-filled and healthy new year. May we all get new energy to work even harder, and may our society touch new heights of progress.
The word ‘Navreh’ is believed to be derived from Sanskrit ‘Nava Varsha’, meaning the New Year.
Kashmiri Pandits dedicate the Navreh festival to their Goddess Sharika and pay homage to her during the festival.
Cheti Chand marks the beginning of the Sindhi new year and the birth anniversary of Ishtadeva Uderolal, popularly known as Jhulelal, the Sindhi saint.
Sindhis wear new elegant clothes and join the grand Jhulelal procession. The celebration is followed by a cultural programme and langarsaab.
Extending greetings of Cheti Chand, Prime Minister said, “Best wishes on the auspicious occasion of Cheti Chand. We remember the pious teachings of Lord Jhulelal and seek his blessings for the happiness and well-being of our planet. Have a great year ahead.”
Ugadi’ the traditional new year day, is being celebrated in Andhra Pradesh today. According to the lunar calendar, Telugu new year day is observed on ‘Chaitra Suddha Padyami. On this occasion, devotees throng temples to offer prayers.
Extending greetings, PM Modi said, “Ugadi greetings to everyone. I wish that the coming year is marked with lots of joy and prosperity. May we all scale new heights of success in the new year.”
Panchanga Sravanam’ is the speciality of the Ugadi festival. Scholars of astrology calculate the astrological features in the new year and read them for people, along with regular prayers. (ANI)