In many parts of India, people will turn over the pages of their traditional calendar to a new year as the Vikram era 2069 unfolds today.
In Northern India as well as in Gujarat it is the start of the financial year, or 'Nutan Varsh', as they call it. November 14, 2012 is the first day of Kartik month in the Vikram and Gujarati calendars, both of which are lunar and calculated based on the fortnightly cycle of the moon. Download Gujarati Calendar for 2069 provided by Shree Swaminarayan Temple of Bhuj, India.
People in many parts of India celebrate the beginning of the Vikram Year as 'Annakut,' the day after Diwali. Annakut (Sanskrit. anna= 'grain' denoting food; kut='mountain' indicating abundance) heralds a new beginning with a golden harvest of the crop that had been planted during and after the monsoon season. The new crop is cut and offered to God on this first day of the new year. This festival or 'utsav' is also known as 'Annakutotsav,' when the supply of food from the new harvest reaches a new high.
In the photograph, you can see a few Hindu priests offering prayers in the Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Kolkata during the Annakutotsav. More than 700 different vegetarian food items ranging from traditional to Mexican, Chinese, Thai, and Italian are offered to symbolize that crops would now be ready to be harvested and the first offering is to God in appreciation of Nature bounty and kindness.
The Vikram era (also known as Vikram Samvatsar or Vikram Samvant) began long ago when the great Indian king Vikramaditya wanted to commemorate his victory over the Shaks in 57 BC... Read more
Photo © Getty Images