US President Biden greets people celebrating Vaisakhi, Navratri, other festivals

April 14, 2021 | Updated 8:04 am

US President Biden greets people celebrating Vaisakhi, Navratri, other festivals File photo of US President Joe Biden with his wife Jill Biden

Washington DC: On the occasion of the Hindu new year, US President Joe Biden on Tuesday (local time) extended his greetings to the South Asian and Southeast Asian communities, which are celebrating festivals like Vaisakhi, Navratri and Songkran.

“Jill and I send our warmest wishes to the South Asian and Southeast Asian communities who are celebrating Vaisakhi, Navratri, Songkran, and the incoming New Year this week. Happy Bengali, Cambodian, Lao, Myanmarese, Nepali, Sinhalese, Tamil, Thai, and Vishu New Year,” Biden tweeted on Wednesday.

The occasion signals the onset of the warmer days and the spring season. It is known by various names in different parts of the country, such as Ugadi in Kannada or Naba Barsha in West Bengal. Chaitra Navratri or Vasant Navratri is celebrated during the spring season in India and it is considered to be an important nine-day celebration for the Hindu community. This year Chaitra Navratri will be observed from April 13 to April 22. The festival is much like Maha Navratri, dedicated to the nine different forms of Goddess Durga, collectively known as Navdurga.

Ugadi is considered as the New Year’s day for Hindus in the states of southern India. It is celebrated in states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Ugadi is celebrated every year on the first day of the Hindu calendar month of Chaitra. The festival is usually celebrated in the months of March or April depending on the first day of Chaitra month. People happily exchange Ugadi wishes and wear new clothes to celebrate the occasion. Several types of sweets are made and people savour the traditional dishes of the state.

People in Maharashtra celebrate it as Gudi Padwa and as the Maharashtrian New Year. The festival derives its name from two words — ‘gudi’ which is the flag of Lord Brahma and ‘padwa’ which signifies the first day of the phase of the moon. The festival signals the onset of the spring season.

(With inputs from ANI)