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A Guide to New Year’s in India

Pohela Boishakh
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India is a country of a gazillion different castes, religions and ethnicities. As such, it is not surprising that there are various different versions of the same festival or event, that takes places in the country and even the rest of the world. Take New Year’s, for instance. What is celebrated at midnight on the 31st of December every year in the rest of the world, is celebrated on many different dates throughout India, based on the region and traditions of that region. Of course, we Indians celebrate New Year’s like it is celebrated in the rest of the world, as well, but when it comes to regional New Years, we have quite the variety! Here’s a guide to New Year’s in India, and the myriad ways of celebrating them!

Gudhi Padwa/Ugadi

Celebrated in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and the Konkan belt as Gudhi Padwa or Ugadi, this is the first day of the Chaitra month. People celebrate this New Year by cleaning their houses, drawing rangolis, and dressing up in their best festive clothes. Maharashtrians hang a yellow cloth to the tip of a bamboo stick and a copper pot is placed inverted on it, outside their windows.


The Tamil New Year falls on the 14th of April and is celebrated with much pomp and show. Women draw kolams and a lamp is placed in the centre of it to light up the pattern! Jewellery, fruits, flowers and other valuables are washed as people believe that it brings prosperity.


Vishu is celebrated as the Malayalam New Year in Kerala. It falls in mid-April on the Gregorian calendar and is celebrated with much enthusiasm. What makes this New Year significant is the “Vishukanni” which is the first object viewed in the morning.


Navreh is the lunar New Year celebrated in Kashmir and it coincides with the first day of Chaitra. Navreh in Kashmir is celebrated with great pomp and is considered very auspicious. It falls on the same day as Gudhi Padwa or Ugadi, and is quite a significant event in Kashmir.

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Poila Boishakh

Last in the guide to New Year’s in India is Poila Boishakh. The first day of the Bengali calendar, Poila Boishakh is celebrated on 15th April by the people in West Bengal. People greet each other by saying “Shubho Nabo Barsho”, meaning Happy New Year, and it is a splendid affair in the state! This New Year is highlighted by cultural programs, shopping and is considered a great time for marriages.

This is how New Year is celebrated in some of the different regions of India. Fun and so very exciting, isn’t it? How will you be celebrating New Year’s this year?

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Nikita is a total and complete bookworm. She’s also a writer and a dreamer who dreams of travelling far and wide. Her other very important dream is to one day, very soon, write books for children.

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