New Year’s Day India
Although strictly speaking it is not an Indian festival since India’s new year doesn’t traditionally start on the first day of the Gregorian Calendar adopted in most of the world, owing to long association with the British and the world’s shrinking due to the availability of faster means of communication, New Year’s Day along with its ‘eve’ have become almost an Indian festival. Even now, it is generally celebrated in the urban areas as the rural regions are still sticking to their old calendars. It has come to be celebrated in this century only. As is everywhere in the world, people start the celebrations right after Christmas Day (25th December) which continues well beyond 1st January, the actual New Year’s Day.
Since the weather in most parts of India is very pleasant, at this time it is celebrated with gay abandon. Greetings and good wishes are exchanged, sweets are distributed, parties are thrown and people start wishing happy new year right after 12 nights. Greeting cards and good wishes messages are sent by the people to their friends and, near and dear ones. event by the peo
The Christian minority in India celebrates this festival with traditional gaiety. The day starts with special services in the churches and then begins a round of never-ending festivities, merry-making, dancing, singing, and feasting. At midnight when the new year is ushered in and the church bells loudly toll to welcome the year, people in large numbers come out in the streets, and marketplaces and welcome the new year with fun and frolic. That night all the hotels and clubs have their long list of frolic-filled activities continuing to the wee hours of the morning. Despite the intense cold in the northern regions, the spirit of the revelers is never dampened.
This festival has now so markedly caught on in India, that in the big cities getting public transport on this night may be a herculean task for either the taxi-tempo-autorickshaw drivers are heavily engaged in merry-making or they are unmoveably drunk. No wonder most of the drunken-driving cases are booked on this very year. Since this is essentially a foreign festival, nothing is prescribed on this day. Since on this day, people do not want to spoil their year by picking up quarrels the unsocial elements also have a field day. Now our societal forces are coming forward to teach people how they can enjoy themselves without disturbing other persons on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.
It is also an occasion of thanks-giving and prayer to God who in his extreme kindness has made us see this day. Exchanging costly gifts and starting new work on this day is also catching up with the people. Some traditional households have also started ‘Indianising’ this festival by holding special religious or musical concerts. With the advent of Cable TV, now most of the peace-loving persons remain glued to their TV sets and enjoy the entertainment offered by the various channels. Since they love to celebrate festivals they have also accepted New Year’s Day as their own festival.