Chandramana New Year and Vasanta Navaratri
Last Friday (23 Mar) was the New Year Day
based on Chandramana.
This is observed on the first day of
Shukla Paksha in the lunar month of Chaitra.
This day is called by varied names across
traditions.This is celebrated as
Ugadi/Yugadi in the Telugu/Kannada tradition,
Gudi Padwa in the Marathi tradition and
Chaitra Pratipada in the Hindi traditions. [*]
Although, there are two different traditions
on when a new lunar month starts, the
Chandramana new year starts on the same day
for both those traditions.
Bali is an island in Indonesia. 92% of the
Bali population follow Hinduism.
The people of Bali also celebrate
the new year on this day. They call it Nyepi.
On this day all external activity in the
island is avoided.
It is fascinating to know that a large
group of people are committed to avoid
physical activity for a day each year.
Why Chandramana new year starts on this day ?
Brahma started creation on this day.
He started creation at sun rise of the
first day of Shukla Paksha in the month of
The Chandramana new year day also marks the
beginning of the Vasanta Navaratri - the nine
night worship of Devi. The more popular
Navaratri is the Sharad Navaratri, which
is observed six months later.
In Devi Bhagavatam, Vyasa Rishi explains
why the Vasanta Navaratri and Sharad Navarati
Vyasa says, "the Vasanta (Spring) and
Sharad (Autumn) seasons are seasons of
fatal diseases. For many people it is hard
to cross these seasons alive.
So, if one desires good,
Devi (Chandi) Puja should be performed
during these seasons." [&]
[^] Said to be in Brahma Purana. Yet to trace it to the source.
[&] Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 3, Adyaya 26, Verses 5 and 6 pg 172 (pdf)
Also see English translation verses 3-5 and 6-8
for Indian Heritage