Grand celebrations for Indian community

KUALA LUMPUR: Tamils in Malaysia are set to observe the Chittirai Puttandu New Year today, while the Sikhs will celebrate Vaisakhi. The Vishu festival will be observed by the Malayalee community tomorrow.

These festivals will be celebrated on a grand scale across the country to usher in a new beginning for the Indian community annually.

Malaysia Hindu Sangam president Ganesan Thangavellu said the new year will begin at 4.45pm on April 14, and this year is known as the “Shobakiruthu” year.

“As a Tamil community, we look forward to ushering in a new dawn.

“We hope this new year brings more wealth for the country, unity among the people, and more celebration for the community,” he told Bernama yesterday.

Ganesan said special prayers would be held in Sri Sakthi Karpaga Vinayagar Temple in Brickfields here from 10.30am to 1pm today while a traditional event, showcasing silambam, bharathanatyam and a new Tamil calendar launching will take place in the Sri Krishna Temple, also in Brickfields, from 3pm to 9pm tomorrow.

The new Tamil month of Chittirai is marked annually on the first day of the Tamil solar calendar.

Meanwhile, the Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM) president Paramjeet Singh Jai Singh said around 120,000 Sikhs in Malaysia will be celebrating Vaisakhi, the spring harvest festival and the birth of the Khalsa order by the 10th Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

He said about 130 gurdwaras in the country were already in full swing preparing for the festivities and many had initiated their Sri Akhand Path (a continuous non-stop recital of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji religious scripture) for Vaisakhi.

“Gurdwara Sahib Petaling Jaya started the Sri Akhand Path yesterday (Wednesday) and some other gurdwaras have started their Jodh Melas (spritual discourses) for Vaisakhi,” he added.

President of the Malaysian Hindu Malayalee Cultural and Traditional Association Dr NR Nambiar said according to the official panjangam (almanac) of Sri Guruvayoorappan Devaswom Kerala, Kerala Mathrubumi Panjangam, Kerala Valya Panjangam and Kerala Manorama Panjangam, Vishu will be celebrated tomorrow.

He said Vishu was observed on the first or second day of the Malayalam month (Medam) and this festival is celebrated once the sun crosses (Surya Sankramana) Meenam and enters into Medam (Aries) because the Surya Sankramana takes place late today.

“The eldest female member in the family will usually arrange the ‘Vishukani’ (tray of items) the previous night and will also wake up first and light up the lamps. Then, every member of the family is brought out blindfolded to the Vishukani area where she will allow them to take in the auspicious sight,” he said.

Nambiar said the Malayalam word “kani” literally means “that which is seen first”, thus vishukkani means “that which is seen first on Vishu”.

He noted that the most ideal time in this country for the ritual is 6am to 6.30am, and no family member should be left out in this ritual.

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