The Sindhi New Year is to be celebrated on 25th March, 2020.
Sindhi New Year is the day Jhulelal was born.
Jhulelal is “Ishta Dev” for the Hindu Sindhis. Jhulelal was born in the year 1149. Sindhis were forced to convert into Islam during Mirakhshah’s rule.
Story behind Sindhi New Year
The story on Sindhi New Year goes as such; a cruel Muslim ruler Mirakhshah wanted all the Sindhi Hindus to convert to Islam. However, the Hindu community of the Sindhis did not wish to change their religion and they prayed on the banks of Indus. Miraculously, a strange creature mounted on a fish brushed through the waters of Indus and then there was an oration from the sky. The oration said that the child who would be born seven days from that day would save them, and that is how Jhulelal came into being. Jhulelal was that very child.
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Jhulelal vanished after he defeated MirakhShah in a war where Mirakhshah agreed to not force convert the Hindus. To commemorate his glory, every Year his birthday is celebrated as the Sindhi New Year day by the Sindhis.
What do you do on a Sindhi New Year
Even till date, Hindu and Muslim Sindhis together participate in these celebrations that happen throughout the day. They dress up in their best of clothes and participate widely in the Jhulelal processions. This procession is followed by a langar held after the end of the procession.
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Langar is a way of practicing tolerance among the masses. This practice is done to bring people closer. It is a strange belief in India that those of us who share food would also share their pains and worries and also share their good times. Thus, this practice can bring people close to each other.
There would be a period of 40 days called Chaliho Sahib prior to this New Year when they would fast and live simply. After this phase of 40 days, Cheti Chand is celebrated. Cheti Chand also commemorates the remembrance of the “Chet Moon.”
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A “Satsang” is also organised known as the “Behrana Sahab.”
How do you decorate the Behrana Thaal
Behrana Sahab Thaal (plate) is decorated on the day of the Sindhi New Year festival. This plate is made of bronze and it is kept aside the earthen pot that is filled with water and its mouth is covered with a red cloth. A wheat ball is made and the round dough is, slightly flattened on top with the fingers and is decorated with almonds, cardamom, cashew and clove. Vermilion is smeared on the wheat dough and above it, a large piece of Misri is placed. Fresh flowers are made to surround this arrangement. Scented incenses, fruits are placed in the plate and five diyas are lit on it. Jhulelal devotees would also place “akho” that is usually rice and sugar combined together and is placed alongside in the plate.
What special do you cook for Sindhi New Year?
Usually people cook Tahiri on the occasion of Sindhi New Year, that is a combo of rice, sugar, saffron and water. When the water evaporates over the oven, it leaves behind the sweet smelling rice. Children of the family often receive Kharchi on this day, very similar to the custom of Eidi during Eid amongst Muslims.
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Sheera malpua and daal pakhwan are few of the savoured delicacies during this festival.
Prominent Features of a Sindhi New Year?
The Cheti Chand festival or the Sindhi New Year is also marked by a procession, that is usually a part of the custom where the wooden platform carrying Jhulelal’s idol is taken to the river after the end of this 40 day period. The Sindhis light a lamp and place water either in a jar, glass or a pot everyday alongside the diya since Jhulelal is supposed to have been born out of the combination of the Fire and the Water. Jhulelal is a reincarnation of Lord Varuna or the God ruling the water element in all.
People usually sing and dance near it on the Sindhi New Year festival day. Sindhis gather around, make merry, have fun, singing and dancing to the tunes of Sindhi music and songs.
Another prominent feature that used to mark the Sindhi festival earlier, were the fairs. Fairs were a place where all ways of fun would be available- like good food, singing and dancing areas and also Jhulelal’s Satsang or Bahrana would continue during this period of time.
Usually, on this Sindhi New Year, Hindu and Muslim Sindhis would close all their shops and would keep their economic activities on hold to come together for the celebrations. Some cities have very unique ways of Cheti Chand/ Sindhi New Year celebrations like Ulhasnagar, Ajmer, Indore, Kolhapur, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Surat where huge gatherings of Sindhis can be met on this day.
Jhulelal Jayanti or Sindhi New Year is the day when cultural gaps are reduced, all friends irrespective of their religion, caste and community are called together and this is a day that preaches brotherhood, unity in diversity and also practices the ancient Indian beliefs of compassion and brotherhood amongst all. This Sindhi New Year day is also celebrated by the Marathis as the Maharashtra New Year day; it is also celebrated by the Konkanis as the Gudi Padwa.
Here is New Year Wishes to share with love one.