From all of us at ICP, Vishu Ashamsakal! Puthandu Vazthukkal! Happy New Year to Malayalis and Tamils alike.
At last, we complete the cycle of Indic New Years (the exception of course being our Gujarati friends). The Solar Calendar New Years are celebrated today. From Yugadi to Vaisakhi to Vishu/Puthandu, we see just how closely all these calendars (varshapada) coincide.
Continuing our tour of the various Indian scripts is Malayalam lipi. Called putiya lipi, it is a comparatively newer script. A different lipi was used centuries ago, which, like Malayalam, branched off from Tamizh.
While Malayalis celebrate Vishu today, Tamilians celebrate Puthandu.
From all of us at ICP: Shubha Vaisakhi! Happy Baisakhi! Baisakhi di lakh lakh badhai! Shubho Nabo Borsho! Pana Sankranthi ra Subheccha! Shubh Jude Sheetal! Happy Bihu!
The other half of the assorted New Year’s of Bharatavarsha fall this well. Though the majority are today. We have two more tomorrow.
Today is most famously the Baisakhi Mela of Punjab, celebrated vivaciously by Sikhs. It is the Harvest Festival, and a time of great happiness.
In Vanga, that is the Bengal region, it is referred to as Pohela Boisakh.
Continuing our tour of the Scripts of Bharatavarshi is the lipi for this festival, Gurmukhi. Used for the Punjabi language, Gurmukhi is also the text for the Guru Granth Sahib. Today is also the day that the Khalsa, the Sikh Brotherhood, was founded byGuru Gobind Singh. The Panj Piare from the five different caste groups were given Amrit today and forged into the Sikh Khalsa. This laid the path to the liberation of the Panjab from oppressive Mughal rule.
This is the other half of the Luni-Solar New Year’s Celebrations in Bharatavarsha. However, you celebrate today, best wishes to all our readers!
From all of us at ICP, Shubha Yugadi, Shubh Chaitra Shukla Pratipada, Happy Ugadi, Shubh Thepna, Cheti Chand ki Shubhkamnayein, Gudi Padwa Shubheccha, Happy Sajibu Nongmapanba, Shubh Navreh, and finally Ugadi Subhashayagalu and Subhakaankashalu!
Ugadi comes from the Sanskrit term Yuga Adi, or new era. Continuing our convention this year of showcasing the various fonts of India, this year’s Yugadi greeting is in Telugu and Telugu Script.
In Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Karnataka, and Goa it is celebrated as part of the sidereal (luni-stellar) calendar. In the land of Shivaji it is called Gudi padwa.
In Rajasthan, some communities notably celebrated Thepna to mark the same. In Kashmir, Hindus celebrate Navreh. Most of North India and Nepal mark it as Chaitra Shukla Pratipada.
Sindhis celebrated Cheti Chand as their New Year due to the importance of their Rashtra deva Jhulelal.
If we missed any, let us know in the comments!
While the Gujarati calendar celebrates New Year on/around Deepavali, and the Solar Tamil Calendar usually a few weeks after us, the Telugu/Kannada/Marathi New Year is based on the sidereal calendar (combination of Lunar, Solar and Stellar positions), and begins on this day.
In Andhra, it is traditional to have Ugadi Pacchadi (Yugadi Chutney). It consists of the Shadruchis or 6 different flavours (Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Salty, Spicy, & Pungent). Here is Andhra Cultural Portal’s Post explaining the Pacchadi and the Utsav in more detail.
Normally Ugadi coincides with Gudi Padwa, Chaitra Shukla Pratipada, etc, but due to astronomical reasons, the cultural exemplars of Andhra advised the following day.
In any event, we wish you all a happy Hevilambi Samvatsara!
From all of us at ICP, Holi ki hardik Shubhkamnaye! Happy Holi!
The Festival of Colours is here! Water should be used wisely throughout the year, not just on a single day because some silly celebrity says.
So celebrate this ancient festival with gusto, whether you grew up with the tradition or embraced it after. Modern Holi is part of Ancient Vasant Utsav, which celebrates spring and nature, the way we were meant to.
It is also possible to be safe in the use of gulal. Here is a video with some safer, eco-friendly, natural ways to make colours for Holi.
Whether you call it Makara Sankranthi, Lohri, Magh Bihu, Ghughuti, Pongal, Sakraat, Khicheri, Saaji, Suggi, Tirmoori, Uttarayan or “the transition of the sun into the constellation capricorn“, we wish you all a very Happy Harvest Festival!
Part of celebrating what unites us is understanding the beauty of the variety. Sanskrit is the language that unites us and Devanagari the most accessible to us, yet greetings come in many languages and many scripts. This year’s is written in the superfun script of the Odias of Odisha (ancient Kalinga, Utkala, & Oddra). To know how they celebrate today, here is a must follow handle or two for all things Odia, including ICP’s own@Itssitu, who was featured last year with her article on Odisha Fashion.
From Odisha we go to Tamil Nadu and a particularly emotive Pongal, where the great tradition of Jallikattu is presently prohibited. One need not participate or even be a fan of a tradition that is important to a different socio-economic group (in this case rural), but it’s important to respect all traditions, particularly when the animal is not harmed and is in fact treated as part of the family. Jallikattu is neither Spanish Bullfighting nor Cowboy Rodeo. The animal is safe, well-treated, and it is the unarmed players who are taking the risk given the powerful bull horns and hooves. It may be more martial than most may handle, but when the animal is treated well, it’s yet another part of festival fun.
For some, Makara Sankranthi is about flying kites, for others it is about drawing Kolam(Rangoli) or playing Jallikattu, and for still others, it is a brilliant bonfire, symbolising a fresh start and personal cleansing.
Punjab’s Lohri (like Bhogi in Andhra’s 4 day Sankranthi) is a great utsav of aag. It is celebrated by Punjabis the world over, and symbolises that spirit in a different way. And yet, the same voices who show no concern for say trees on Christmas, suddenly do when it comes to Lohri (leave aside New Years Eve vs Crackerless Diwali).
Do what you can to preserve the tradition and petition and protest peaceably. Use facts, logic, and calm patience to make the case and point out double standards. Some connect to their culture through intellectual endeavours, others through philosophical inquiry, but most through their traditions and festivals (and the delicious cuisine that goes with them).
Makara Sankranthi is not just a Pan-Indian, but a Pan-Indic festival, and is celebrated with great gusto by our brothers in Nepal.
So whether you say Sankranthi Shubhkamnayein, Shubheccha, or Shubhakaankshaalu, from all of us at ICP, we wish you the very best!
Shubha Deepavali! Diwali Shubhkamnayein! Happy Diwali! Happy Tihar! and all the many regional variations of this sacred festival. Deepavali is the great utsav that unites us all, being celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists alike.
So enjoy this great Festival, and like last year, burst crackers to your hearts content!
Happy Vijaya Dasami, Happy Durga Pujo, and Shubh Dussehra!On this Tenth Day of Victory, Durga Mata defeated Mahishasura and Bhagvan Ram defeated Ravana.
Whether in Kathmandu or Kanyakumari, whether it through Raas-Garba or Bhajans, hope you all enjoyed the Nine days of Navaratri. May this Tenth Day usher in victory for good over evil. From all of us at ICP, Happy Dasara!
From all of us at ICP, Happy Sri Krishna Janmashtami! Shubha Janmashtami! Janmashtami shubhkamnaye!
For those of us who know he was no mere myth, but left this Earth in 3102 BCE, this day is especially sacred, as a reminder of the validity of the Mahabharata’s message.
Struggles against Adharma are there now more than ever. Even our traditions stemming from Krishna’s life are not being spared. What do the people do?
It is why the time has come for people to not just sing “Hare Krishna”, but to take a page out of the Karma yogi’s book and do their karma. Between aggressive and passive is assertive. Learn from Sri Krishna and understand how to work together to effectively and legally preserve your interests, traditions, culture, and above all, preserve Dharma.
And remember, whatever the odds against you, Yatho Krishna tatho Dharma. Yatho Dharma, tatho Jayaha! Jai Shri Krishna!
From all of us at ICP, Shubha Raksha Bandhana, Raksha Bandhan Shubhkamnayein, and Happy Rakhi!
Not all cultures celebrate the bond between brother and sister as colourfully and joyously as Bharatavarsha’s. Rather than viewing relations between female and male through only 1 or 2 prisms, our ancestors recognised that the most holistic societies are the ones that also hold as dear the relations between siblings, cousins, friends, and fellow citizens.
To women, men are more than just fathers or husbands or sons, but also brothers and cousin-brothers. To men, women are more than just mothers or wives or daughters, but also sisters and cousin-sisters.
This wonderful festival celebrates what all other women or men beyond the top 3 should be to men or women: sisters or brothers. Rakshabandhan celebrates this bond and raises it to festival heights with a joyous utsav where brothers and sisters honour each other.
The loneliest societies are the most selfish ones. Unselfishness and protection of brother by sister & sister by brother is what makes ours the civilization of Subhadra & Sri Krishna.