India is a land of fairs and festivals too. As a result of cultural variations in our country festivals are celebrated at different times and in different ways according to different regional culture. This might be seen in case of New Year as well. Maximum population of India follows Hinduism, even then New Year is not celebrated at the same time and in the same manner within the Hindu community.
Hindu New Year in different states
The varied cultures of Hinduism follow independent calendars; the New Year Day in these calendars is based on seasons and the agrarian economy of the region.

Some calendars are lunar calendars; thus the New Year dates changes yearly with changes in moon. Majority of the Hindu New Year date falls in the months of March and April.

In Eastern India, in West Bengal, Nab Barsha is celebrated during spring. The day is observed on the first day in Baisakh month (April – May).

The calendar is a solar calendar and therefore the New Year day falls on April 14 or April 15 every year.

People decorate their houses with colorful flowers in pink, red, purple and white which give a youthful fresh feeling. Women wear yellow coloured clothes as the colour yellow symbolizes spring.
Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the south of India, celebrates New Year in spring too. New Year falls on Chaitra Shuddha Prathipade and the day is marked as Ugadi or Yugadi. Ugadi is based on lunar calendar thus the date changes yearly. A tradition of eating a salad made of neem leaves, jagarey, raw mangoes and bananas is unavoidably followed on New Year s Day. Eating this on New Year s Day, symbolizes that the person is accepting everything bitter and sweet that would come through his way all round the year.

Vishu is the Zodiac New Year observed in Kerala by Malayalis. In Kerala, the southern most part of India, mothers prepare a special tray of special food, fruits, flowers and gifts on the New Year eve. It is considered that seeing this tray as first thing in the morning of New Year s Day would bring in good luck. So, children are led with their eyes closed to the tray as soon as they get up. New Year starts in the month of Medam (on the day when the Sun enters in the Leo sign). The calendar followed in Kerala is a solar calendar and the New Year date is constant mostly – April 14.

In central India, orange flags are unfurled on buildings and homes on New Year s Day. Gujarat commemorates New Year in the end of October, on the next day of celebrating Diwali, i.e. the day of Annakut. People light earthen oil lamps on and around their houses to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. New Year starts on Kartik Shukla Pratipada.

Punjab observes New Year Day on 13th April.

In Sikkim, New Year starts on 18th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar.

The Government of Tamil Nadu had declared Pongal festival as the Tamil New Year in 2008. But still majority of the calendars of the various Tamil communities regard Tamil New Year on Chithira 1 (Mid-April) and continue to mark it around 13th or 14th April. The Tamil calendar is a solar calendar and hence the date remains same every year.

According to the Saka calendar followed by the Government of India New Year day falls on March 21 or March 22.

Marathi New Year is observed on the first day of the Chaitra month (March – April). The day corresponds with the famous festival of Maharashtra, Gudi Padwa. It is also known as Shalivahan Shaka New Year. Gudhi Padwa is based on lunar calendar and therefore the date changes yearly.

Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu is the New Year in Assam. This is based on Assamese solar calendar and is observed on the first day in Baisakh month (April – May). The celebration continues for three days. New Year starts on 14th or 15th of April.

Forthcoming Festivals