New Year - Ugadi/ Navreh/ Gudi Padwa/ Cheti Chand/ Sajibu Cheiraoba/ Chaitra Shukladi/ Puththaandu/ Vishu/ Bsaisakhi/ Rongali Bihu/ Pohela Boishakh/ Pana Sankranti/ Thapna/ Bestu Varas/ Losoong/ Namsoong/ Bizu
This book, NEW YEAR, the third in the series, Indian Festivals, describes not only how the New Year is celebrated all over the diverse India in its myriad forms and names but also the astronomical phenomena that are the precursors for the formulation of the different types of calendars, viz., lunar, solar and lunisolar calendars and experiments and models for the kids. . More
This book, NEW YEAR, the third in the series, Indian Festivals, describes not only how the New Year is celebrated all over the diverse India in its myriad forms and names but also the astronomical phenomena that are the precursors for the formulation of the different types of calendars, viz., lunar, solar and lunisolar calendars.
Festivals are an integral part of a society, be it in any country. They are an expressive way to celebrate the glorious culture, heritage and traditions of that country/region.
I was looking for a book to read to my 2 kids, 17 year-old son and 4 year-old daughter, about this festival and I could not find one. Hence, I conceived the idea of writing a series of books on Indian Festivals, for kids and adults alike, with lots of colorful pictures that exudes the sheer excitement, fervor, happiness, fun, flavor and facts of the festival. This would also serve as a great source of introductory information for the people of other nationalities wanting to know about India. People of Indian origin, settled all around the globe can also find this book valuable as a single point of reference. This book could also act as a travel resource for people travelling to India.
Further, I have included links to some NASA calculations, experiments and models for kids that explain the astronomical phenomena. Thus, this book would be engaging for both parents and kids alike.
During my travels in India and around the world, I always took keen interest in learning about the culture and background of the people and which in turn developed a deep sense of respect for them.
The writing of this book, kindled my childhood memories from early 1980s and 1990s, about this festival celebration. Our family is Telugu-speaking; my forefathers hailed from the Nellore district, in the current state of Andhra Pradesh and we celebrate Ugadi as our New Year. Our neighbor, on the right side of my parent’s home was from Tamil Nadu, our neighbor opposite to my parent’s home was from Karnataka and our renters’ at the 2nd floor were from the state of Odisha. So, it was a mini-India, right there!! As kids, we used to tease each other based on language. For instance, when the Karnataka neighbor yelled ‘Amma koothaare!!’(=Mother is calling), the Tamil Nadu neighbor would tease, ‘Amma Kooththu aadaranga’!!(=Mother is dancing). On the festival days, we exchanged the special food prepared by our Moms with each other.
In our family, during my childhood, on the day of Ugadi, we woke up early in the morning and as customary, took oil bath and wore new clothes. Panchanga patanam and shravanam (Reading of and listening to the almanac) was very important and interesting. My Mom, sister, brother and myself would sit around my Dad as he read the predictions for that year based on the Vedic astrology as given in the Panchangam. A week before the festival date itself, my Dad would visit a particular shop and preorder a copy of the Panchangam (almanac).
My sister had two close Rajasthani friends from school and I had a close Malayali classmate and we exchanged some special food item during their New Year celebration.
Now, living in the USA, I celebrate the festival with the same fervor with my husband and kids (even if it falls on a weekday).
In placing this edition of NEW YEAR, I invite all the readers to immerse themselves in the spirit of this festival and I hope the readers enjoy my book too as much as I enjoyed writing it.
May every NEW YEAR herald in Peace, Health, Happiness and Prosperity to all!
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