Nirayana Sauramana New Year Day

Coming Friday (13 Apr) is the
Nirayana Sauramana New Year Day.

This is known as Varsha Pirappu /
Putthandu in the Tamil tradition,
Vishu in the Malayalam tradition,
Bihu in the Assamese tradition,
Pohela Boishakh in the Bangla tradition. [*]

This happens when the Sun moves
into Mesha Rashi
(Aries in western astronomy)

This used to mark the
mid-point of Uttarayana in the past.
The mid-point signifies when the
day and night parts are of equal
duration (Vernal Equinox)

Vishu (and Bihu) means equal.

So, the new year day used to signify
the day when there is equal time for day
and night.
Hence, there was a physical marker for the
celebration of the New Year.

However, this significance is no longer
valid. We saw in the past about the
shift in start of Uttarayana.

Similarly there is a
shift in the mid-point of Uttarayana.
This already happened on 20 March.

Since the calculation of new year is based
on the Rashi (Zodiac) transition of the sun
in the Nirayana Sauramana calendar, we
continue the new year observation based on the
transition of the Sun to the region in the sky
labelled Mesha.


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