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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in India Lesson 1 - New Year's Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in India Series at HindiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Hindi holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 1, New Year's Day. In Hindi, it’s called Nav Varsh Divas.
Do you know how New Year’s is celebrated in India? Are you familiar with festivals like Pongal, Ugadi, or Gudi Padwa? These, of course, are all traditional Indian New Year festivals, but in this lesson we will be focusing on the Western New Year, which is celebrated on December 31.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Where is India’s most popular New Year’s celebration held?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
In India, each religious and linguistic community welcomes in the new year with its own distinct festival, or Utsav. While the Marwaris consider the Diwali festival during Autumn to be the beginning of the New Year, other communities celebrate it at the advent of Spring, in April. Different communities refer to these celebrations by different names as well. They are called Bihu in Assam, Lusong in Sikkim, Poila Boisakh in Bengal, Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Ugadi in Andhra, Vishu in Kerala and so on. All of these are traditional Indian New Year festivals.
The Western New Year on December 31 is also celebrated with equal fervor in India, which in Hindi is Bharat. The new year is so well received in India because of the 200 years of British rule, and the heritage that was left behind. Like other countries, Indians also welcome the New Year with good food, drink, and merriment in the company of friends and family.
People gather together with their family, or Parivar and friends, or Dosto on the evening of the 31st of December. There are countdowns to midnight on TV, and people gather to celebrate in places like clubs, homes, shops, and restaurants. Big Bollywood stars take part in massive concerts that perform for huge crowds. It is common for people to make resolutions and buy and distribute sweets, and when the clock strikes twelve, people wish each other ‘Happy New Year’ or ‘Naya Saal Mubarak Ho’.
In Mumbai, lots of people gather at the major spots of the city to welcome in the New Year. Popular spots in the city include Gateway of India, Bandra Bandstand, and Juhu Beach
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Where is India’s most popular New Year’s celebration held?
This place is India’s most popular tourist destination – Goa!
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Would you like to know about other traditional New Year's festivals?
Leave us a comment telling us at HindiPod101.com!
And we’ll see you in the next lesson!

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Would you like to know about other traditional New Year's festivals?