New Year wishes in April? No, I’m not four months late ringing in 2012! Although here in the West, we welcomed the New Year on January 1st, there are many cultures, religions and countries around the world that celebrate a New Year in April.
In this sense, the New Year may not mark the beginning of a new calendar year that many of us are familiar with; instead, the New Year may symbolize the start of a new beginning in one’s life and a letting go of the past. I thought that this would be a fitting topic to share with you since it coincides with the arrival of Spring and the new life that comes with this Season!
Hindu New Year
One of the April New Year celebrations that I recently learned of is the Hindu New Year. Some sources I read suggest that the year 2012 is especially significant because it is believed to signify the rising of the “Golden Age”. In Hinduism, this new era is thought to bring good luck, joy and hope for all.
I was interested to learn that the ancient Mayans of Mexico also predicted 2012 to be a year that would bring about a rebirth of the planet. As a result, it is expected that a shift in energy will occur towards prosperity, happiness and hope. Now there’s something to keep in mind when planning your goals and pursuits for this year!
My good friend Shamala explained to me that the Hindu New Year actually falls at different times of the year for different sects of Hinduism.
Shamala will honour the New Year on April 14th:
People usually get up early to light lamps and pray. All new clothes will be worn on this day. We will also offer each other gifts and wish each other well.”
Other April New Year Celebrations in Asia
Many countries in Asia are alive with New year festivities between the 14th and 16th of April, including Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Here in the United States, we may greet the New Year by throwing confetti; in Cambodia and Thailand, the New Year merriment involves the friendly tradition of throwing water, complete with water pistols, buckets and hoses!
Fruit Carvings to Commemorate the New Year
Fruit carving is a significant part of Asia’s history and culture. New Year ceremonies often include beautiful displays of intricately carved fruits and vegetables. Take a look!
If you’d like to see more amazing fruit carvings prepared for the Thai New Year (also known as the Songkran Festival or the Water Festival), check out my previous blog posts – you’re sure to find some ideas for you own carvings on these pages:
In the Spirit of New Beginnings, I hope you are inspired to Embrace Something New in Your Life
Even if you don’t celebrate a cultural or religious New Year at this time, I hope that you will still be inspired to embrace a new goal or outlook in your life. We can all stand to let go of something old that may be standing in the way of making a fresh start in other areas of our lives. So wherever you are, here’s to new beginnings and a wonderful New year!