Maithili New Year

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Maithili New Year
Observed by Maithils
Type Festival, Mithila, India & Mithila, Nepal.
Significance Maithili New Year
Celebrations Feasting, gift-giving, visiting homes
Date 14 April
Frequency annual

Juir Sheetal (জুড়ি শীতল / जुड़ि शीतल) or Maithili New Year is the celebration of the first day of the Maithili new year. This day usually falls on 14 April on Gregorian calendar by the Maithils in Mithila region of India and Nepal. This is also called Nirayana Mesh Sankranti or Tirhuta new year in some regions of Mithila.[1] The festive occasion is in keeping with the Hindu solar calendar.

Origin and significance[edit]

The Maithili New Year follows the Nirayanam vernal equinox and falls on 14 April (may sometimes vary by a day) on the Gregorian year. 14 April marks the first day of the traditional Maithili calendar .
Tropical vernal equinox fall around 22 March, and adding 23 degrees of trepidation or oscillation to it, we get the Hindu sidereal or Nirayana Mesha Sankranti (Sun's transition into Nirayana Aries).[2]

Hence, the Maithili calendar begins on the same date, with Baishakh as first month of the year. It is also observed by most traditional calendars in India as in Tamil Nadu, Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Manipur, Orissa, Punjab, Tripura etc. not to mention Nepal, Bangladesh, Mynmar, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet and China.[3]
Also it is important to note that this day is also called Hanumat dhwajadanam i.e. the day Hanuman flag to be flown and hence Mithila's flag (in rectangular saffron a pitcher on the point of plough as representing the birth of Mother Seeta from the Earth when Rajarshi Janak, the king of Mihtila did the Haleshti Yajna at near Seetamarhi in India). It is also the birthday of Raja Salhesh (Shailesh - the king of Himalyas region of Mithila who won area up to Tibet) whose garden is at the Mahisautha in Siraha district headquarters of Nepal. In every Mithila village there is 'Rajaji's gahwar,' which is worshipped mostly by Paswans but by all and hence, this day is symbolizing communal harmony.

Official significance[edit]

After a long period of demand, Bihar government in 2011 declared this day as public holiday to be observed state wide. Officially, the Maithili New year day is called as Mithila Diwas by the Government of Bihar. Every year there will be holiday for Mithila Diwas on 14 April in the Indian State of Bihar on account of the great festival of Juir Sheetal.[4]

Related holidays in other cultures[edit]

It coincides with the New Years in many other Southern Asian calendars, including:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]