Andhra Pradesh bans ‘New Year’ celebrations on January 1 in temples

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Setting off a new controversy, Andhra Pradesh government on Friday issued a circular asking temples in the state not to celebrate New Year eve and January 1 as these "festivals are not part of Hindu culture and ethos".

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The move comes days after fringe Hindu outfits in Aligarh asked schools not to celebrate Christmas as it is not part of the Hindu culture.

In a circular, the Hindu Dharma Parirakshana Trust, which is part of the Andhra Pradesh endowments department, has said that it was inappropriate to indulge in New Year's revelry, which is not in accordance with Hindu traditions.

"The Hindu tradition says temples should organise festivities on Ugadi, which is the New Year for Telugus across the world. Temples should not be decorated or they should not distribute sweets on western New Year," read the notification.

The notification also questions the need to splurge on floral decorations and other events on New Year.

Every year, the Tirumala temple celebrates New Year's Eve with lavish arrangements. This time too, officials expect over 1 lakh pilgrims to come for the 'darshan'.

The latest diktat, however, is being welcomed by several Hindu groups on social media.

According to the reports, 'Bharata Punarutthana Trust' has also written a petition to Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, saying January 1 should not be celebrated as New Year at any government-administered temples.

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