Happy New Year to everyone. I’ll greet you with the same wishes in March-April (twice if you celebrate both Sankranthi & Vizhu/Baisakh in Bangalore). We have many new year days, dont worry. Somehow the charm of new year’s arrival is lost on me. I’m not a cynic or philosophic, so please hear me out.
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In Western countries, which are predominantly christian, there’s no confusion. The festival frenzy starts in mid-Nov (Thanksgiving), runs through entire December and early January. People plan their annual holiday around this time. There is festivities in the air the entire December which culminates with the new Year arrival. Boston’s First Night has nothing to do with matrimony, but marks the New Year that starts at the stroke of the midnight hour. Ice Sculptures, Entertainment, Winter Competitions, Laser Shows are a part of this Night. Scotland’s Hogmanay is yet another street revelry with drinks and fireworks.
In India, we have News channels, magazines and media all declaring a new year (analysis of past one & hope for a better year etc). Modern India, despite having many Indian Calendars, follows old Julius and his timetable. However being inherently Indian, we also follow with equal fervour, Sankranti – celebrate with ‘yellu-bella’ and declare the same new year right after 3 months. Or if you are a Bengali/Tamilian/Nepali/Punjabi, the new year is in April(Vizhu/Baisakh). And if you are a trader, all these doesn’t matter. Its just one Diwali to the next. So I’m lost. Now which year are we in?