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[ Edit ] Overview
The first day of the Chaitra month according to the Hindu calendar is called as Chet. The Sindhis celebrate their new year on this day. Hence the day is called as Cheti Chand.
To honour the birth of Ishtadeva Uderolal popularly known by the name of Jhulelal, the Sindhi community celebrates this day with great pomp and is considered to be a very auspicious day. Water which is the elixir of life is worshipped on this day.
[ Edit ] When Is
Cheti Chand is celebrated on the second day of the Chaitra month known as Chet in Sindhi. Hence it is known as CHET-I-CHAND. It is the second day of month chaitra ( Mar - Apr).
[ Edit ] Duration
[ Edit ] Where
Cheti Chand is celebrated by Sindhis all over India. Sindhunagar or Ulhasnagar in Maharashtra witness the maximum celebrations because of very high sindhi population in this city.
[ Edit ] Also Known As
[ Edit ] Dedicated To
Cheti Chand is dedicated to Ishtadeva Uderolal, Sindhi god also known by the name of Jhulelal.
[ Edit ] Significance
To honour the birth of Ishtadeva Uderolal and celebrate the Sindhi New Year
[ Edit ] Legends/History
It is said that Mirkhshah, a Muslim ruler and a fanatic, forced the Hindus in his kingdom to embrace Islam. The Hindus pleaded with him but to no avail. They then started praying and performing rituals and vigils on the banks of the River Sindhu. In evenings they worshipped the water God, Varun Devta by singing songs in his praise. On the 40th day of their prayers the Water God spoke to them telling them that a divine child would be born to save them.
In a village in Nasarpur, Devaki and Ratanchand, the two “tithes” from the new moon of Chet had a child on Cheti Chand. A Punjabi astrologer called him Uderolal. “Udero” is a Sanskrit term which means one who has sprung from water. The villagers used to call him “Amarlal” which means an immortal child. Since the cradle of the child would always swing to and fro the child was also named as Jhulelal.
Mirkhshah wanted to capture this child but miraculous divine interventions always led to his defeat. Finally when Uderolal faced Mirkhshah he told him that everything in the world is the creation of God who Muslims call “Allah” and Hindus “Ishwar”. Hence all human beings too are his creation. One could follow God by whatever name he wished to. But Mirkshah did not listen and with the help of his Maulvies, ordered the arrest of Uderolal. But as officials of the court began to move towards him, water started flowing in the court. All the courtiers including Mirkhshah got covered with water and fire also broke out simultaneously. As a result Mirkhshah realized his mistake and begged Uderolal for forgiveness. Immediately fire was blown out and the water receded. As such the Hindus got saved from his fanatic clutches. Jhulelal is also therefore known as “Asht Dev of Sindhis”.
[ Edit ] Traditions And Celebrations
The day of Cheti Chand begins with worshipping Sai Uderolal also called Varun Devta or Jhulelal after which chana (grams) is offered as Prasad. Certain traditions followed on this day like Baharana Sahib include many preparations. It includes a bronze plate (thali) with rice grains, pure ghee, vermillon, wheat modaks which is a type of sweet which is decorated on top with refined sugar called Misri Jo Sangh. The plate also includes aksha oil and an earthen lamp with five wicks. The lamp is lit on the bronze plate and the ritual is called “Jyot Jagan”. “Akho” is a sweet made of ghee, saffron, sugar, cardamom, milk, rice and water. It is also called as “Guji Deg or Tahiree”. Thus the Baharana Sahib which includes Jyot Misri, Phota, Fal, Akha is taken to a nearby river or lake and immersed in water. While taking the Baharana Sahib one also carries a Kalash with a Nariyal on it, that is covered with cloth, flowers and leaves. A Murti of Phuyya Jhulelal Devta is also carried along. One also has to chant Lal Sain’s Panjras and Palav to seek his blessings.
Many followers of Jhulelal also observe Chaliho Sahib. For forty days and nights they follow rituals and perform vigils on banks of a river. In these days, they do not wear shoes or new clothes. They bathe and wash clothes but wear the same ones again. They do not shave, neither do they use oil or soap. Songs are sung in praise of God Varun, the Water God and they pray for their solace and salvation. After the forty days of Chaliho Sahib, the followers of Jhulelal Devta celebrate the festive occasion of Thanksgiving Day.
[ Edit ] Food / Recipes
The Sindhis prepare Kesari Rice and Palak Daal on this day
[ Edit ] Music / Dance
Cheti Chand is celebrated by displaying the Sindhi culture through dance, drama, music and their folk arts. Chhejj, a Sindhi folk dance is performed by males. It is a vigorous dance which means crescendo, flood and inundation. The dance requires enthusiasm, rhythm and vigour as the worshipper may fall in a trance to please Jhulelal Devta.
The dance group needs at least seven people. A circle is formed by the dances called Chhejjaris who have sticks called Dounjaas in their hands. They clap their sticks following the rhythm of the Dhol and the tune of the Shehnai.
[ Edit ] Gift Tradition
[ Edit ] Others
Cheti Chand being a New Year for the Sindhis, they wish each other by saying, “Cheti Chand Jyon Lakh Lakh Wadayun Athav”. The other person wishes you back saying, “Tohan ke bhi Cheti Chand Jyon Lakh Lakh Wadayun Athav”.Along with temple worship, a procession is taken out to immerse the Baharana Sahib. The procession is large and long, where lakhs participate in this. Ganpathi Sthapna also takes place where Lord Ganesha also called as “Vignaharta or Remover of Obstacles” is worshipped. During the day aarti and bhajans are performed. Stretching the lower part of one’s saree called pallav one begs to Lord for goodness and welfare.
[ Edit ] Other Information
Most Sindhi businessmen open their financial account books on this day.
[ Edit ] SMS Wishes
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