Happy Khmer/Thai/Laos/Burmese and Indians’ New Year
ၿမန္မာ့စြယ္စံုက်မ္းအတြဲ(၁၃) စာမ်က္ႏွာ ၂၀၈
“ဟိႏၵဴကုလားတို႔၏ ရိုးရာဓေလ့ထံုးစံကို ၿမန္မာ့ရိုးရာသၾကၤန္”
The new year of many South and Southeast Asian calendars falls between 13 and 15 April, marking the beginning of spring.
- Tamil New Year (Puthandu) is celebrated in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, on the first of Chithrai (சித்திரை)(13 or 14 or 15 April). In the temple city of Madurai, the Chithrai Thiruvizha is celebrated in the Meenakshi Temple. A huge exhibition is also held, called Chithrai Porutkaatchi. In some parts of Southern Tamil Nadu, it is also called Chithrai Vishu. The day is marked with a feast in Hindu homes and the entrance to the houses are decorated elaborately with kolams.
- Punjabi/Sikh New Year is celebrated on 14 April in Punjab.
- Nepali New Year is celebrated on the 1st of Baisakh Baisākh (12–15 April) in Nepal. (Not to be confused with Nepal EraNew year)
- Assamese New Year (Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu) is celebrated on 14–15 April in the Indian state of Assam.
- Bengali New Year (Bengali: পহেলা বৈশাখ Pôhela Boishakh or Bengali: বাংলা নববর্ষ Bangla Nôbobôrsho) is celebrated on the 1st of Boishakh (14–15 April) in Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal.
- Oriya New Year (Vishuva Sankranti) is celebrated on 14 April in the Indian state of Orissa.
- ManipuriNew Year or CHeirouba is celebrated on 14 April in the Indian State of Manipur with much festivities and feasting.
- Sinhalese New Yearis celebrated with the harvest festival (in the month of Bak) when the sun moves from the Meena Rashiya (House of Pisces) to the Mesha Rashiya (House of Aries). Sri Lankans begin celebrating their National New Year “Aluth Avurudhu” in Sinhala and “Puththandu (புத்தாண்டு)” in Tamil. However, unlike the usual practice where the new year begins at midnight, the National New Year begins at the time determined by the astrologers. Not only the beginning of the new year but the conclusion of the old year is also specified by the astrologers. And unlike the customary ending and beginning of new year, there is a period of a few hours in between the conclusion of the Old Year and the commencement of the New Year, which is called the “nona gathe” (neutral period). During this time one is expected to keep off from all types of work and engage solely in religious activities. It will fall on 13 April for the year 2009.
- Malayali New Year (Vishu) is celebrated in the South Indian state of Kerala.
- In some parts of Karnataka, the new year may be celebrated in mid-April, although it is most commonly celebrated on the day of Gudi Padwa, the Maharashtriannew year.
- The Water Festival is the form of similar new year celebrations taking place in many Southeast Asian countries, on the day of the full moon of the 11th month on the lunisolar calendareach year. The date of the festival was originally set by astrological calculation, but it is now fixed on 13–15 April. Traditionally people gently sprinkled water on one another as a sign of respect, but as the new year falls during the hottest month in Southeast Asia, many people end up dousing strangers and passersby in vehicles in boisterous celebration. The festival has many different names specific to each country:
- In Burma it is known as Thingyan (Burmese: သင်္ကြန်; MLCTS: sangkran)
- Songkran (Thai: สงกรานต์) in Thailand
- Pi Mai Lao (Lao:ປີໃໝ່ Songkan) in Laos
- Chaul Chnam Thmey (Khmer: បុណ្យចូលឆ្នាំថ្មី ) in Cambodia.
- It is also the traditional new year of the Dai peoples of Yunnan Province, China. Religious activities in the tradition of Theravada Buddhism are also carried out, a tradition which all of these cultures share.