Lunar Hindu New Year - Bramha starts creation

The next lunar Hindu New Year is on 2021 Apr 13. Every year it happens sometime in March or April. How is it decided ? Ugadi, Yugadi, Gudi Padwa, Chaitra Pratipad are names for this in different traditions. Vasanta Navaratri starts on this day. Whats the significance of it ?

When Lunar Hindu New Year

The Lunar Hindu New Year begins on the first day of Shukla Paksha in the lunar month of Chaitra.

This day has varied names across traditions. This is Ugadi/Yugadi in the Telugu/Kannada tradition. Gudi Padwa in the Marathi tradition and Chaitra Pratipad in the Hindi traditions.

There are two traditions on when a new lunar month starts. But for both, the New Year Day is this same day.

Why ? Whats special about the day ? Brahma started creation on this day. He started creation at sun rise of Chaitra Shukla Prathamaa (Pratipada).

Which traditions celebrate

India map with regions/traditions following Moon based calendar (yellow) and Sun based calendar (orange)Regions/ traditions in yellow observe the Lunar Hindu New Year

All Hindu traditions use the Moon based (Chaandramaana) calendar.

The difference is - the orange shaded regions/ traditions in the above map use it to observe festivals. And use the Sun based (Sauramaana) calendar for day to day time keeping.

Hence, this (Lunar) New Year beginning is not significant to them.

Rest of the regions/ traditions (in yellow) use the Chaandramaana calendar. For all purposes. Both for festivals & day to day time keeping.

So, the Lunar Hindu New Year celebrations take place only in tradions marked yellow in the map.

Nyepi in Bali

Bali is an island in Indonesia. 92% of the Bali population follow Hinduism.

The people of Bali also celebrate the new year on this day. They call it Nyepi. They avoid external activity. Its a lockdown on that day. Its a time to be indoors and inward looking. 

It is fascinating to know that a large group of people commit to avoid physical activity for a day each year.

Vasanta Navaratri

The Chandramana new year day also marks the beginning of the Vasanta Navaratri. The nine night worship of Devi. The more popular Navaratri is the Sharad Navaratri. Which is six months later.

In Devi Bhagavatam, Vyasa Rishi explains why observe Vasanta Navaratri and Sharad Navarati.

"The Vasanta (Spring) and Sharad (Autumn) seasons are seasons of fatal diseases. For many people it is hard to cross these seasons alive.

So, if one desires good, one must perform Devi (Chandi) Puja during these seasons."

May the Devi bless us.

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