New Year celebrations in India

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Amritsar/ Jorhat, Apr 14 (ANI): Residents in different parts of the country indulged in fun and frolic as they rang in the traditional New Year in some states.

In Amritsar, devotees waited patiently to pay their respects at the Golden Temple on the occasion of Baisakhi.

After offering initial prayers, the devotees took a dip in the holy pond meant to cleanse them of their sins and purify their souls.

Parminder Singh, a devotee, who came along with his family, said he was visiting the Golden Temple to celebrate Baisakhi.

"Today, it is the birthday of the Khalsa (the Sikh order). Normally, people celebrate their New Year from January, but for Punjabis, the New Year starts from today," said Singh.

Baisakhi holds special significance for Sikhs as this day marks the birth anniversary of the "Khalsa Panth" or the Sikh order. The Panth was established in 1699 by the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, on Baisakhi Day.

In Assam, April 14 is celebrated as "Rangali Bihu" or "Bohag Bihu", a traditional harvest festival.

Celebrations begin with giving cattle a thorough scrub and pampering them with specially prepared food.

Spread over seven days, the festival marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year.

Sports events are organised during the day, while music and cultural events are performed in night at select venues across the state.

Large crowds are treated to performances of music and the traditional Bihu dance.

Bihu is a festival of spring, New Year and harvest all rolled into one. their scent.

Meanwhile, President Pratibha Patil has greeted the nation on the occasion.

"On the auspicious occasion of Rongali Bihu, Naba Barsh, Puthandu Pirappu, and Vishu, I extend my greetings and good wishes to all my countrymen," she said.

"These festivals celebrated in different parts of the country, denote the underlying unity of our rich and diverse culture and strengthen the pluralistic heritage of the nation. May the festivals bring peace, happiness and prosperity to all," she added. (ANI)

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