Spring in number of new years today | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Spring in number of new years today

The Kauls have carefully brought out the nechpetre (Kashmiri almanac) to place in the thal barun. Along with rice, flowers, walnuts, pen and a mirror, the nechpetre forms the offering in Thal Barun kept in front of the God on Navreh.

delhi Updated: Apr 04, 2011 02:02 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

The Kauls have carefully brought out the nechpetre (Kashmiri almanac) to place in the thal barun. Along with rice, flowers, walnuts, pen and a mirror, the nechpetre forms the offering in Thal Barun kept in front of the God on Navreh.

The Kashmiri Pandits are celebrating Navreh, their new year, on Monday. “Everybody in the family ‘sees’ the Thal Barun the first thing in the morning,” said Aditya Raj Kaul, whose family has been living in Delhi for many years. “Navreh Poshte is how we greet each other,” he added.

But it is not just the Kashmiris who are celebrating on Monday, the first day of Chaitra which is the first month of Hindu calender.

Coinciding with the onset of spring, many communities across India celebrate New Year. And as Delhi is a cultural melting pot, each community adds to the celebrations.

Monday will be observed the first day of New Year in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa and in Kumauni areas. The Sindhis, spread across India, will observe it as Cheti Chand.

For NV Padmaja and her family, originally from Andhra Pradesh, Ugadi pachchadi (chutney made from raw mango, jaggery, new tamarind, banana and neem flowers) is a must on Ugadi morning. "The first ritual of the year is to offer this pachchadi to God and then taste it. The different tastes are symbolic of various experiences one would encounter in the year," said Padmaja, currently in Delhi, due to her husband’s transfer.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/04_04_pg5a.jpg

Using neem flowers and sometimes its leaves are something they have in common with Maharashtra’s Gudi Padwa celebrations. Said Nandini Awade, a Maharashtra government officer in Delhi, “After the gudi is erected and prayers are offered, each member of the family is made to eat fresh neem leaf. This helps to beat the heat.”

Gudi comprises a brand new cloth tied on a long bamboo with neem twigs, flowers, gaathi (hardened sugar garland) kept with an upturned copper vessel on its top. “The tradition continues as a welcome symbol erected for Lord Ram when he entered Ayodhya after defeating Ravan,” Awade says.

The Lord Ram-connection is common in the Kumauni community too. Back home in the hills, the Ram Lila starts on this day to culminate on Ram Navami, nine days later. But here in Delhi, it is mostly restricted to worship, preparing sweets and celebrations.

For the Sindhis, a sweet dish called Tahiri (sweetened rice) is a must, said Priya Panjwani. A special thal with ceremonial diyas made of wheat flour, rice, flowers along with boiled chana or moong lentils is taken to the temple.

“Our Jhulelal is the god of water. So whatever we wish to offer is given to water,” Panjwani’s aunt Pushpa Punwani added.