Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cheti Chand - Sindhis New Year

The Sindhis celebrate the New Year and call it Cheti Chand. The Hindu calendar suggests that Cheti Chand should be celebrated on the second day of Chaitra month. This day falls just after Ugadi. The New Year by the Sindhis is celebrated to mark the birth of Ishtadeva Uderolal. He is the patron saint of the Sindhis. The New Year day is the most auspicious day of the year. Everybody worships water on this day.

The rituals and believes
History tells us that in the early year, on the bank of the river Sindhu the followers of Jhulelal observed Chaliho Sahab. They actually did not use water for forty days and followed few rituals. They didn’t wear new clothes or shoes. They didn’t even bath or shave. Soap and oil were not used by them. What they did was washed the clothes with water and dried them. God Varun was worshipped. During salvation they chanted and sung songs. After such long forty days they celebrated thanks giving which is still celebrated today. This day marks the beginning of the New Year. The Sindhis also follow the Hindu lunar calendar.

On the New Year day the Baharana Sahib is taken to a near by river or lake. The Baharana Sahib includes Jyot (Oil Lamp), Misiri (Crystal Sugar), Phota (Cardamom), Fal (Fruits), and Akha. Behind is Kalash (Water jar) and a Nariyal (Coconut). The plate is covered with a cloth, flowers and leaves. The plate also includes a deity of Pujya Jhulelal Devta.

They wish people Happy New Year as "Cheti Chand jyon Lakh Lakh Wadayun Athav." The reply given out is "Twah khe bhi Cheti Chand jyon Lakh Lakh Wadayun Athav". The Sindhis keep all business transaction closed on this day. The shops remain close on the New Years day. They don’t even cook on this day. The whole day is spend at the Jhulelal Temple and they participate in singing and worship of Jhulelal. The places where the Sindhi New Year is celebrated are Ulhasnagar, Ajmer, Indore, Kolhapur, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat.

The New Year is celebrated to mainly worship the Water God. This time of the year is considered to be auspicious. People start with new ventures on this day. Few things which the Sindhis do on the New Year are:
  • Jhulelal Photo or Murti is installed
  • Sing Jhulelal Bahjans for four times
  • Neighbours and friends are invited
  • Dance with the Sondhi sticks
  • Jhulelal Aarti is performed
  • Tahiri & Chole Prasad is distributed
  • You must thank everyone who comes to be a part of the ritual.

The main food cooked for Sindhi New Year is Tahiri. It is a mixture of rice in milk and it is a sweet dish.
Jyot Jagan is a lamp lit on a bronze plate. Cheti chand falls on the March or April. It also welcomes spring. This festival is a representation of new life.

  • Alfred Lord Tennyson said:
  • Ring out the old, ring in the new,
  • Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
  • The year is going, let him go;
  • Ring out the false, ring in the true.

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