In the bustling concrete jungle of Mumbai, you know its spring and harvest time when Punjabis, Bengalis and Malayalis will celebrate new year.
On April 14 and 15, the first day of the Hindu calendar will be celebrated as Baisakhi for Punjabis, Poila Boisakh for Bengalis, Bihu for Assamese, Vishu for Malayalis and Puthando for Tamilians.
For Mumbai’s two lakh strong Punjabi community, Baisakhi will be celebrated on Wednesday with good food and cultural gatherings.
“The mirthful atmosphere of the harvest season in Punjab is not too relevant for us in Mumbai. Here, we eat together at the langars (mass meals served in Sikh temples) and spend evenings with the family,” said H.S. Birdi, a member of the managing committee of the Punjab Association, Sion.
While new clothes, kheer dishes and bhangra performances are common to all Punjabis, Baisakhi holds a double significance for Sikhs.
“The New Year is also the day when the Khalsa movement was started by Guru Gobind Singh in 1644,” said Pradhan Kulwant Singh, a spokesman from the Guru Gobind Singh Darbar gurudwara in Powai.
Sikhs will celebrate by attending special kirtans and readings of holy texts in the temple.
It will be time for the city’s Bengalis, Tamilians, Keralites and Assamese communities to wear new clothes and enjoy eating traditional recipes, on Thursday. For the Bengalis, Poila Boisakh has no religious significance but is marked as the start of the new financial year.
“At home, it’s about the fish, mutton and payesh (milk-based sweet dish),” said Rinia Guha Maulik (34), a homemaker from Andheri.