Wednesday 14 April 2021

List of Lunar And Solar Indian New Year Days #RasagolaA2Z

Our country is celebrating the Hindu New Year festivals now. In our vast country, famous for its diversity, many days are celebrated as New Year Days in different parts. The observance is based on the calendar followed by the region- whether lunar or solar calendar.

For the regions that follow the Solar calendar, the new year falls in the month of Vaishakha or April in the calendar:

- Baisakhi in North and Central India, 

- Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu in Assam, 

- Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, 

- Vishu in Kerala, 

- Pana Sankranti in Odisha (celebrated in Chaitra month)

- Poila Boishakh in Bengal 

For the regions that follow Lunar calendar, the new year is celebrated on the first day in the month of Chaitra (corresponding to March-April):

Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka 

Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra. 

In many parts of India, New Year Celebrations begin in the spring.

Please refer to this webpage for the full list of lunar and solar Indian New Year Days along with the usual dates for celebration.

Today, April 14th is the Odia Naba Barsa i.e. the Odia New Year, also called Mahabishuba Sankranti or Pana Sankranti.

A deliciously refreshing drink called Pana is prepared. 

As this special drink is usually prepared using the pulp of a fruit named Bael (stone apple or wood apple called Bela in Odia), it is called Bela Pana. 

You can watch this video to see the preparation process of Pana-
Many ingredients like water, chhena (cottage-cheese), curd, ripe banana, ripe mango, cashew, grated coconut, cardomom powder, black pepper powder, jaggery or sugar, other fruits and sweets like Boondi, Rasagola etc. are added to the Bael fruit pulp. 
The healthy drink is first offered to the deities and then had and distributed amongst family and friends. It is a natural energy booster and a great way to welcome the new year.




I agree that it is tough to showcase our vast land's diverse celebrations.

However, in many images and articles, there is stereotyping and representation of those that are more popular, vocal, and famous... and omission of certain others like the Pana Sankranti of Odisha as in the map shown in the above image. (The above image is just a single example of representation where Odisha's identity has not been shown; rather Rasagola / Rasgulla, which originated in Odisha, has been shown as a part of the neighbouring state.)

This has been happening for the past several decades now and hence the association of Rasagola with Odisha is yet to be known by many.

Let us take the cosmopolitan city Bengaluru for example. 

There are Ugadi / Ugaadi special shopping advertisements in the media and online.

Truly a colourful depiction. 
However, do note that apart from the New Year Days of some other states, Odisha's Pana Sankranti too is missing. As usual, there is a depiction of Rasagola's association with Bengal.
This writer is looking forward to seeing the representation of Pana Sankranti with a glass of Pana and a pot full of Rasagola in future images and advertisements.

As per the article- "Saris to rock for your traditional New Year celebrations" published on the Page-2, Bangalore Times, dated- 13 April 2021:

"India's regional New Years - Ugadi, Gudi Padwa, Poila Biasakh and Baisakhi are here and all the ladies must be deciding on the outfits that they can wear for the occasion."

As we can see, the article has given the names of the four most "popular" or "well-known" celebrations - each belonging to a different zone and so we have representation from South, West, East & North respectively. The article then names some "types of saris you can sport on the special day." There are no prizes for guessing that not a single sari of Odisha has been featured (though Odisha has many types of handlooms, many of which have earned the GI tags.)

My point is- If a place is not represented, how will people know about it? 

Taking into consideration such images, articles, and representation, when a place is not mentioned and its identity is not showcased, then it is not seen, and hence not known.

Thus, Odisha is "India's Best Kept Secret".

There is a sizeable Odia population in Bangalore.

As per Wikipedia, apart from the native communities, the migrant communities of Bengaluru are-

MaharashtriansPunjabisRajasthanisGujaratisTamiliansTelugusMalayalisOdiasSindhis, and Bengalis.

As per this news report:

While migrants from neighbouring states continue to be the largest group among migrants from other states, there is a disproportionate perception of the size of migrant communities from northern and eastern states as their numbers are increasing faster than others. Tamil Nadu continues to be the largest contributor to the migrant pool in Bengaluru. However, Odisha, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, in that order, have seen a dramatic increase in their contribution to that pool. Eighty seven per cent of all Odia migrants came in the last census decade (2001-11). The corresponding figures for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were 79 and 81%.

Odia festivals and representation in posts and images as mentioned above, needs attention. 

Just because something is not mentioned or people do not know, does not mean that it does not exist or is not true.

No matter what the celebration, all are most welcome to celebrate with the 'king of sweets' Rasagola and of course, Bela Pana.

Today, on the occasion of the Odia New Year, the Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri, Odisha, has been decorated.

Apart from the other dishes, special prasad are Pana, Gheudi and Enduri. Chhena dishes like Rasagola have been associated for centuries with the Shree Jagannath Temple.

Happy New Year! Enjoy!

I’m participating in the April #A2ZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

L For- List, Lunar
I am writing A-Z posts about Rasagola26 Rasgulla posts this April.
This sincere attempt is to share information about Rasagola/Rasgulla.
Rasagola is a part of Odisha's traditional knowledge, continuing tradition, cultural heritage and identity.  
You can check out my other Rasagola posts here.
This is my fifth #A2Z Challenge, and my last four challenges have been about Odisha, India. 
Are you aware of Rasagola/Rasgulla? Did you know that the Rasgulla originated in Odisha? 
Please do share any information about Rasgulla that you may have and that you feel must be documented and shared so that all are aware.  


  1. The patter on the huge banana leaf is mouth watering. Apart from all these known names of this festival, in bihar the day when Vishu is celebrated in Kerala, in bihar 'Satuaan' is celebrated. The new crop of chana, mango is majorly used in making dishes.

    I am also writing for A2Z, do take out time and visit.
    - Ujjwal Mishra

  2. As you correctly pointed out if you do not represent how will people know. Handloom saris of Odisha are beautiful. Having stayed two years i do know of some facts you mention yet plenty i am ignorant of.
    Happy new year wish i could savour that drink again
    Deepika Sharma

  3. Wow!! A myriad of facts, of which I was aware of very few. Like you, I had never come across a mention of Pana Sankranti in any images before. And Bela panna is also something new. I have tasted Aam panna before but after reading your description of this drink, I can't wait to savor it.

  4. The many delicious ingredients added to the Bael fruit pulp make the Bela Pana sound like a healthy drink to consume all year round! Happy New Year!

  5. With volunteers like you, I hope to see festivals of Odisha along with the festivals of other states on the hoardings. #HappyPanaSankranti

  6. I have had Bela pana once... Oh how much my mouth is watering reading this post... And those ingredients on the banana leaf reminds me of the childhood Bhojis too 😊

  7. Nice to be reminded of the various ways this festival is celebrated in different parts of India. Accept my belated wishes. Let the new year see more misconceptions around Rasagola being cleared due to your unceasing efforts.


Your words mean a lot to me.

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