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Photo: Tour My India

New Year’s Day is a time for new beginnings across several communities and cultures. The lessons learned during the bygone year are carried forward and a new start is made. However, different places in India and across the world celebrate it differently, thereby, giving us several options to travel for that fun New Year party.

Let’s have a further look at the novel New Year traditions for good luck that each state has adopted for their own.


The Keralite New Year; the Vishu festival signifies the beginning of the spring equinox and usually falls in the month of April. Malayalis celebrate this occasion with abundant fervor. They believe that the first thing you see in the morning affects the rest of your year and for this reason, create a “Vishukkani”. A “Vishukkani” is a collection of objects that are supposed to represent happiness, luck, and goodwill. This includes yellow flowers, money, gold, fruits, and sweets; all placed before idols of various gods. The Vishukkani is created the day before and on the day itself, children are blindfolded when they wake up and led to the Vishukkani. People also wear new clothes on this day to symbolize new beginnings.


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Photo: Wikipedia

This festival has its roots in 3 southern states however it is most commonly referred to as the Telugu New Year. Marking the commencement of the new year; people usually prepare for this festival by cleaning out their houses and purchasing new clothes. On the day itself, they adorn their houses with mango leaves and rangolis. Poojas are held and prayers are recited for good health and prosperity. Kavi Sammelans i.e. poetry recitals have also become a common accompaniment to the new year’s celebration.

Gudi Padwa

The Marathi New Year is also a springtime harvest festival celebrated by Konkanis and Maharashtrians alike. The day is held in high regard as it is believed to be the day that Lord Brahma created the universe. The Maharashtrians’ New Year traditions for good luck include the unfurling of a brightly colored cloth attached to a stick (Gudi means flag) that is also decorated with neem leaves and garlands kept outside the household.


The Punjabis sure know how to hold a New Year’s party. Baisakhi is considered to be the largest harvest festival celebrated in North India. It marks the beginning of the Sikh New Year. On this auspicious day, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs brought into being the Khalsa Panth sect. The festival calls for lots of fun, merrymaking and good times. The people of Punjab celebrate by going to Gurudwaras and sharing Kada Prasad with friends and family. The traditional ritual of Kar Sewa is carried out as well (offering your time in terms of physical labor to help out in the daily chores performed in the Gurudwara).


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Photo: The Indian Express

The Tamilian New Year commences mid-April and is celebrated on the first day of the month of the Tamil calendar, Chithirai. Early in the morning, the women of the household decorate the entrance to their home with a colorful Kolam(a variation of the Rangoli) pattern. In the center of the Kolam, a lamp is placed; this symbolizes light dispelling away the darkness.

Bohag Bihu

The spring festival of Bohag Bihu is celebrated mid-April as it is the beginning of the agriculture season. It is one of the most important festivals of Assam and lasts for seven days where each day holds significance. This New Year’s celebration is honored by the people waking up early and bathing in a paste of urad dal and turmeric, wear their new clothes and seek blessings from the elders in their family.

Pohela Boishakh

One of the biggest and most important Bengali festivals also happens to be a national holiday in Bangladesh. Cultural performances like a poetry reading, singing, and dramatic performances, and sitting down with your family for a traditional meal are some intrinsic parts of the festival. The men and women also change into traditional attire and dance and sing along to classical Bengali tunes.


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Photo: Wind Horse Tours

One of the oldest festivals celebrated by the people of Sikkim; it is celebrated in the month of December and signifies the end of the harvest season. The farmers celebrate their bountiful harvests. The festival is mostly observed privately amongst family members and close friends; however, there is an air of joy and festivity all around. One of the highlights of this festival is the Black Hat dance that rejoices at the triumph of good over evil.


The Kashmiri lunar New Year’s celebrations and traditions include the customary practice of filling a thali with unhusked rice and bread, a small portion of yogurt, candy, some salt, a 10Rs note, some flowers, a pen and a mirror and a panchang book (a book that keeps track of all the important days and dates according to Kashmiri tradition) the night before. On the day itself, you have to make sure it is the first thing you see in the morning


The Islamic New Year commences on the first day of Muharram (the first month in the Islamic calendar) and varies according to the lunar calendar. The day’s name comes from the emigration of the prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina (the journey is referred to as Hijrah). Muslims pray and fast and look upon the month as one of self-reflection and improvement.

Cheti Chand

The Sindhi New Year is celebrated to commemorate the memory and birthday of the Sindhi patron saint Jhulelal; a man that performed miracles and provided justice to the oppressed Sindhis by overcoming their oppressors. Several cultural events and poojas like Chaliho Saheb, Baharana Sahib, etc. are held to honor his memory.

Different parts of the country have their own ways of celebrating the New Year

People in all parts of India dress colorfully and indulge in fun-filled activities such as singing, playing games, dancing, and attending parties. Night clubs, movie theatres, resorts, restaurants and amusement parks are filled with people of all ages.

People greet and wish each other a Happy New Year. Exchanging messages, greeting cards and gifts are part and parcel of the New Year celebration. The media covers many New Year events which are showcased on prime channels for most of the day. People who decide to stay indoors resort to these New Year shows for entertainment and fun. The age-old tradition of planning new resolutions for the coming year is a common sight. A few of the most popular resolutions include losing weight, developing good habits, and working hard.

In Punjab

New Year celebrations in the Indian state of Punjab are full of joy and enthusiasm. The day of New Year denotes the starting of the harvest season, due to which it is the most significant festival among Punjabi farmers. They start the day with the Granthsahib recitation in the Gurudwaras. The day also commemorates establishment of the Khalsa Panth by Guru Gobind Singh.

In West Bengal

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Photo: Utsavpedia

West Bengal is often known for its rich culture and fertile land. Hence, New Year coincides with the starting of the harvest season in this state too. They call the celebration ‘Poila Boisakh’, and is celebrated on the first day of the Bengali calendar’s first month, Boisakh.

In Gujarat

People of Gujarat celebrate New Year as the Bestu Varas. The day has a mythological significance in Gujarat, due to which it becomes an auspicious day in the state. They celebrate their New Year on the very next day of the festival Diwali. Gujaratis perform Govardhan Puja on this pious day. They buy new dresses and goods, and prepare sweets to celebrate this day. Then they distribute sweets and gifts among friends, relatives and neighbors.

In Maharashtra

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Photo: DNA India

People of Maharashtra celebrate their New Year on Gudi Padwa. The day of the New Year coincides with the pratipada, which is the first day of the Hindu lunar calendar’s first month (usually in March or April). On this day, Marathis erect Gudi, a decorated flag in their households. They decorate this flag with flowers and garlands. They place an upturned vessel of metal at the top of the flat and then hang the Gudi outside their house’s door. They believe that this Gudi wards off evil and ushers good luck for the household. They have a notion that Lord Brahma created this world on the virtuous day of Gudi Padwa.

In Rajasthan

Rajasthani people celebrate their New Year on the day of Diwali. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama returned to his hometown Ayodhya after 14 years of vanvaas. So, on this day, they worship Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesha. Devotees pray to the Gods to bless them with wealth and prosperity. Click here to know How To Do Lakshmi Puja On Diwali. Reciting the Satyanarayan Aarti is a popular ritual they follow on this day. They wear nice dresses and make special foods to celebrate their New Year.

In Kerala

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Photo: Travelogy India

People of Kerala call this day Vishu, and it is the most important celebration in this Indian state, as it marks the start of the Malayalam zodiac (during the second week of April). They perform the tradition of Vishukkani on this day, which means looking at the first things on the Vishu mornings. They religiously collect things like fresh lemon, raw rice, Vishu Katta, betel leaves, golden cucumber, metal mirror, yellow flowers, areca nuts and others, and arrange them carefully in their worship room. They take bath early in the morning and see their auspicious items on the morning of the Vishukkani. They believe that this brings good luck, wealth and prosperity to them for the rest of the entire year.

New Year’s is celebrated in multiple different ways; however, the one thing they all have in common is a friend, family, and loved ones. A New Year’s party does not have to be one that you get all dolled up for; it can also be a quiet evening with the people that matter most to you. In the end, as long as you are surrounded by the ones that care for you, you’re welcoming in the New Year the right way.

For more knowledge about New Year's Days in other countries, please check out our KnowInsider!

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