Nagpur: When it comes to aapla Nagpur, its not only Marathi community that keeps the fervour up in the city! Many other communities too usher in their celebrations in Nagpur to make the city a true picture of India’s cultural diversity. This can be evident from the fact that over the next two days, at least six different communities will be ushering in their New Year in Nagpur. These dates are observed in Vaishakh, which is the first month of the Hindu Calendar.
Celebrations began for the Punjabi community on April 12 with sermons and rendition of devotional songs by Hanwant Singh from Patiala and Satnam Singh from Golden Temple, Amritsar. Besides being a harvest festival, the day is also sacred as it is the foundation of Khalsa Panth under the leadership of the tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh.
The entire Sikh community residing in the city will come together at Gurudwara Nanak Darbar for religious rituals, including the Amrit Chakhana. “The Panch Payara who have come from Amritsar will make men, women and children drink sweetened water from a pot. They will also eat kada prasad or halwa kept in a huge thaali. This ritual marks initiation into Khalsa panth and are done to promote brotherhood in our community,” says Parmindar Singh Vij, president of the gurdwara.
“All the events on Saturday, including the langar, will be held at the Buddh Nagar Park at Ashok chowk from 4am to 3pm and again from 6pm to 11pm,” he adds.
The Malayali community will also be celebrating their New Year, Vishu, on April 14. “Vishu means equal part and on this day both day and night are of equal duration,” says Pushpa Anand, a teacher at Saraswati Vidyalaya.
“Some of the rituals performed by us include seeing the Vishu Kani first thing in the morning. The lady of the house arranges the Vishukani at night and next day she is the first to see it and later leads other members of the family towards it with their eyes closed,” she says.
“In the puja room or at the altar, auspicious items like rice, linen, cucumber, betel leaves, metal mirror, holy texts and coins are placed in a metal vessel called uruli. A lamp is placed beside it. It is must to have yellow flower Kanikonna, which blooms during this season at the altar,” she adds.
The Tamil New Year called Vilambi Naam Samvatsara coincides this year with Sitakalyanam Mahotsav, says Sitaraman Iyer, president of Bhagavad Paad Sabha which manages Sarveshwara Devalayam where the celebrations will take place. “This will include reading of the Tamil almanac,” he says.
The Odiya community will place a earthen pot from which water will drip over the idol of lord Jagannath at the temple in Kukde Layout. “We will also be applying sandalwood paste on the idol as Pana Sankranti, our New Year, is the beginning of summer and we want to keep the lord cool,” says PP Mishra, executive member of the temple.
The large Bengali community in the city will be celebrating Poila Boishakh on April 15 with a cultural event. “We have arranged a music show where Payel Kar, a renowned Bengali singer, will perform at Scientific Society hall on Sunday,” said Pradip Ganguly, secretary Bengali Education Society.
“Otherwise at home, it is a day when businessmen open their new account books and families enjoy a rich feast consisting of various items,” he adds.