The festival coincides with other new year celebrations celebrated on the first day of Vaisakh across the Indian subcontinent. Baisakhi traditionally commemorates the formation of the Khalsa Panth (the Sikh community) and is also a spring harvest festival for Sikhs.
Do not miss out on traditional Punjabi kadhi pakoda, which is one of the finest examples of Punjab’s rich food culture. The spicy and sour flavour adds magic to the kadhi, prepared with a perfect blend of curd, besan and spices.
Poila Boisakh: West Bengal
The Bengali New Year is celebrated with utmost pomp and grandeur in West Bengal and Bangladesh. If you happen to be in Bengal, you’ll hear people greet each other with ‘Shubho Nabhobarsho’ (Happy New Year) and recitals of Rabindranath Tagore’s songs playing everywhere.
An eternal favourite of Bengalis around the world, this festive staple comprises prawns delicately steamed in mustard sauce.
Puthandu: Tamil Nadu
According to the Hindu calendar’s solar cycle, this is the first day of the traditional Tamil New Year. It is a public holiday in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka as well. Welcoming positive vibes into the house, floor designs called ‘kolams’ are made using coloured rice flour and a scrumptious feast is prepared for lunch.
Raw mango slices are cooked with sweet jaggery, red chillies, neem leaves and astringent mustard.
Rongali Bihu: Assam
Also known as Bohag Bihu, this is the Assamese New Year wherein farmers celebrate a successful harvest and welcome spring. A time of zest, joy, and feasting, the festival is celebrated for seven days, with each day holding a special significance.
Made with ingredients such as sesame seeds, jaggery and rice powder, this delicious dessert is made to celebrate the day of harvest.
Ugadi: Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka
Telugu-speaking people of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and Kannadigas from Karnataka, celebrate Ugadi as the first day of their traditional new year. Ugadi is a combination of two words Yuga (era) and Adi (beginning).
This is a traditional concoction comprising different tastes — bitter (neem flower), sweet (jaggery), salt, hot (green chillies) and sour (raw mango and tamarind) — denoting different experiences that should be accepted with equanimity in the year ahead.
Vishu literally means equal, and in the festival’s context it connotes the completion of spring equinox — this is one of the most important festivals in the South Indian state of Kerala. The festival is marked by family time, preparing colourful auspicious items and viewing these as the first thing on the day.
This is the most sought-after dessert in Kerala, a liquid rice pudding sweetened with either sugar or jiggery. It is made using rice flakes, jaggery, coconut and coconut milk.