It is going to be a festive weekend ahead with three communities celebrating three festivals, beginning on the first day of the Hindu month of Chaitra.
LUCKNOW: It is going to be a festive weekend ahead with three communities celebrating three festivals, beginning on the first day of the Hindu month of Chaitra.
While Marathi and Kashmiri Pandit communities will usher in festivities of Gudi Padwa and Navrez, respectively, Sindhis will begin the celebrations for Cheti Chand on a grand scale with a procession in the city. The entrance of the more than 200 Marathi homes in the city will be adorned with the ‘gudi’, an ornate arrangement of great
significance on Saturday, to commence the new year. Seeped in rituals, people dress up in traditional clothes and a host of delicacies are prepared for the festival. These include shrikhand and Puran Poli. Marathi families also hoist the ‘Vijay Dhwaj’, symbolizing the victory of Shivaji Maharaj. “The house is decorated with rangoli and a ‘gudi’, which is a new Kalash (urn) wrapped in green or yellow silk cloth, is placed on a bamboo stick at the entrance. It is a sign of prosperity and the most important symbol of the day. The morning Prasad is a special mixture of ‘neem’ and jaggery. The idea behind this is neem purifies blood and protects us from many diseases,” said Arti Natu, a resident of Chowk.
The same day Kashmiri Pandits will begin their new year, Nauroz or Navrez, on the first day of the Chaitra month, by praying for the well being of the family. The day
begins with family members looking at the mirror, writing ‘Om’ on the new Panchang and praying.
“Considered to be the most auspicious day, it is a festival where we wear new clothes and authentic jewelry called ‘dejhor’, with long hanging gold strings. The evening will be marked by celebrations where community members gather to feast,” said Meenakshi Kaul. Meanwhile, Cheti Chand cultural activities that have already been going on for a week will see a procession of 15 tableaux circling around the city. More than 5,000 Sindhis will be a part of the event on the roads of Lucknow, generating awareness of the themes of voting and other issues.
“The evening of Cheti Chand will be filled with pomp and show. Since Cheti Chand is celebrated to honor the birth of our patron saint Jhulelal, the day is regarded as the most auspicious, marking a new beginning in the life of all Sindhis,” said Ashok Motiyani, spokesperson of Cheti Chand Mela Committee.