It is a week of festivities as Tamils, Malayalees, Punjabis, Thais and Burmese are celebrating the beginning of their new year this week.
Hindu New Year, known as Varusha Pirappu, marks the first day of Tamil month Chittirai.
The day falls on April 14 this year. Yuva, a devotee of Hindu Temple along Jalan Pudu Lama, said many interesting prayers would be performed during The New Year.
“Devotees will bring flowers and milk and gather at temples to seek blessing.” he said
“We will have a makan besar as well, but only in vegetarian,” his friend Swaminathan said, explained this is because Lord Ganesha is a powerful god, thus during the holy day devotees must avoid consuming meat.
On the other hand, Thingyang, Burmese New Year, is widely celebrated by the Burmese community here. Max, the owner of Myat Thu Kha Cafe, said the five-day celebration since April 13 is a happy and enjoyable festival.
“Here, the celebration is more for friendship, friends join friends to enjoy…even if (this isn’t) our country, we don’t have family (members) here,” the 28-year-old said.
He said the first four days will see a lot of religious activities such as observing the Buddhist ‘eight precepts’ during New Year’s Eve and performing prayers in the local Burmese temples. Nevertheless, water-splashing is most-welcomed throughout this period.
The Burmese water-splashing game, like the Thai New Year, carries a symbolic meaning: to wash away a person’s sins.
“In fact, we just had a small game with our customers,” he said, pointing at his soaked shirt.
His Burmese food restaurant is giving away thargu (a Burmese’s coconut and milk dessert) for free to customers to share in the joys of the festival.
On the last day, described by Max as “family day”, is when Burmese stays at home and pays obeisance to the elders.
“It is a very big day. In Burma, people will visit pagodas to pray and will avoid spending too much money.”
“People who are being wasteful on that day will have very bad luck throughout the year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Central Market will play host to a series of performances at its outdoor stage this Sunday to celebrate Punjabi New Year- Vasakhi.
The event, which begins at 2pm, will also see authentic Punjabi food being served around the stage.
Traditionally, the festival holds great importance for Bangra farmers in India to mark their harvest time. It generally falls on April 13 or 14 according to their Calendar. The day is also observed in honour of their tenth guru- Gobind Singh.
For those who having your big day this week, Komunitikini would like to wish you a “Happy New Year”.