Friday, March 27, 2009

Navreh 'thal barun': Kashmiri New Year

It's March 27th 2009 and it's the first day of the New Year. It's Nevreh - the Kashmiri New Year decided in the pages of Jantri or nachipatir, almanac, Vijeshwar Panchang that's based on the movement of moon and not the sun. It's a Lunar calender. So Nevreh Mubarak everyone!

Navreh  'thal' steel plate looks pretty much like the Soonth Thal. Thali has some rice (in older days it used to be paddy),  tcho'vor - small roti made of rice flour/bread (here it is actually a bread piece), pen (it is supposed to be standing, so in older days they had pen stand also placed in the plate), inkpot, some currency notes (here we have a coin), milk or curd (we got milk), dooyn - walnut in odd number (here we only got one almond), some salt (actually meant to be took noon or rock salt from Pakistan), some flowers - narcissus flower would be great, and a small mirror. I also read that in older days they used to put in some newly sprouted grass and a weed known as Wye (it supposed to be good for sharpening memory functions of the brain. At one time, my nani fed me a lot of this weed). The specialty of Navreh thaal is the new year's nachipatir - the one with the great image of 'Vishnu in Space'.

The thal is prepared on the preceding night, then covered with a piece of cloth and kept overnight at the center of the house i.e. kitchen, chowk'e or may be the thokur kuth, prayer room right next to chowk'e.

In the early hours of the morning, eldest woman of the house, grandmother or mother, with the thal in her hand and blessing on her lips, one by one  wakes everyone up and asks each one to look at the thal, look one's face in the mirror, take up the pen and write something, anything, but OM would be prefect.

In the after noon, using the rice from the thal, yellow rice taher is prepared.

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"The 2nd of the month Caitra is a festival to the people of kashmir, called Agdus(?)*, and celebrated on account of a victory gained by their king, Muttai**, over the Turks."
- India by Al-Biruni, page 258
Abridged Edition of Dr. Edward C. Sachau's English Translation
Edited with Introduction and Notes by Qeyamuddin Ahmad,
Second Edition
Third Reprint 1995

* Okdoh in Kashmiri. It literally means 1st day. But the festival 'Hur Okdoh' marks the first day of fournteen days leading to Herath (Shivratri).
** Lalitaditya Muktapida, emperor of Kashmir from 724 AD to 760 AD whose military might (Kashmiris claim) captured areas as far and as wide as Central Asia, Bengal and Karnataka.

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Received the following traditional Navreh greeting through SMS:

Sount'ik vaavan Kul'aye
aleravith nave navreh
huk dutnei sadda
shushur chel'ravith
poshwaren manz
anuun bahaar 
Navreh Mubarak 
Aurzu Te Aay

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Read more about Navreh here

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Thanks to Kashmri pandits around the world (mostly USA) and thanks to the post about Soonth, search query stats of this blog yesterday (and today morning )looked like this:


Notice the "thal" queries: Kashmir thaal barun rice walnut pen, thal barun things, thal barun how, thaal barun and thal barun song.

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