Cheti Chand is the New Year for Sindhi Hindus. It is observed on the first day of Chaitra month (late March or early April). This year Cheti Chand falls on 22nd March 2023, Wednesday.
Cheti Chand is the auspicious day of Sindhi Hindus as they celebrate the New Year on this day. It is celebrated when the New Moon (Chand) becomes visible, and according to the Hindu calendar, it is followed on the first or second day of the Chaitra (Cheth) month (March-April). Therefore it is known as the ‘Cheti Chand’.
Apart from the New Year, Cheti Chand is also celebrated to commemorate the birth Anniversary of Ishtadeva Uderolal, also known as Jhulelal, the patron saint of Sindhis. It is said that when Sindhis prayed to the god of the Sindhu river, Varuna, to save them from persecution by a cruel ruler Mirkhshah, Ishtadeva Uderolal was born in the year 1007. Then Uderolal converted into an old man and a warrior named Jhulelal, and convinced Mirkhshah that Muslims and Hindus deserve the same religious freedoms. After this, Jhulelal became the key deity of the Sindhi people.
Men perform folk dance and chej on Sindhi music on this religious occasion. Devotees worshipped the patron saint of Sindhis- Jhulelal, by Aarti and performed forty days of prayer. During these days, devotees follow fast and with coconut milk, sugar, molasses and fruits, they break their fast. Along with this, a procession is also carried out to the river or seashore. Many devotees also take Baharana Sahib to a nearby river or lake. Baharana Sahib is a beautifully decorated bronze plate where the idol of Jhulelal, an Oil Lamp, Crystal Sugar and a few more things, is carried. After reaching the river or lake, the Baharana Sahib is immersed in the water along with rice and sugar, called “Akho”. During this ritual, it is mandatory to sing Lal Sain’s Panjras and Pallav to seek blessings.
Cheti Chand is one of the important fests of Sindhi Hindus. It is celebrated in late March or early April. It is not only a festival of a new year but also celebrated as the birth anniversary of Ishtadeva Uderolal, the patron saint of Sindhis. Devotees follow a procession and a Baharana Sahib to the river or a lake. Cheti Chand is the festival of the religious and cultural framework.
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