23rd March 2015 Kashmiri Pandits celebrate their New Year's Day, Navreh, on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada or the first day of the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra |
- The Beginning of the Lunar New Year is celebrated in Kashmir as Navreh. This festival falls on the first day of the Chaitra Navratras (auspicious nine days of Spring) and start of a new year according to the Sapath Rishi Sambat.
- The Kashmiris celebrate this day with great enthusiasm. The Kashmiri pandits, visit the sacred spring of Vichar Nag to take the holy dip on this auspicious day. They also make new a new almanac and a scroll called 'Kreel pach' on this day.
- They observe a custom which is almost similar to the vishukani ritual of the Malayalees. That evening, the housewife prepares a big Thali (a huge plate)filled with rice or paddy.
- She arranges the new almanac, the kreel pach, a herb known as Wye, dry and fresh flowers, sprouted grass, curds, walnuts, pen, inkpot, a little salt, wheatcake, a small bread, some cooked rice and gold and silver coins on the mound of rice.
- This thali is then covered by another plate until the next morning when the son or the daughter of the family takes the lid off. He/She takes the thali to the head of the family who looks upon it, then the thali is shown to every member of the family.
- The objects in the thali signify the prayer for food, knowledge and wealth in the coming year.
- The family then celebrates this day by preparing traditional dishes and other delicacies, donning new clothes and entertaining their friends and family.