Cheti Chand

Cheti Chand

Cheti Chand is celebrated as a New Year of Sindhi community. According to Hindu calendar, it is celebrated on the first day of Sindhi month called Chet (Chaitra), the full moon day. It falls either in the month of March or in the month of April.
“Sai Jhulelal”

It is said when Sindh province (It is in Pakistan) came under the rule of tyrant named Mirkhshah, was threatening Sindhi Hindu’s to either convert to Islam or else they all will be killed. Sindhi’s Prayed to the River named Sindhu (now the river indus in Pakistan) for protection from the force of sultan, and they prayed for forty days. And Lord Varuna devta (God of Water) heard their prayed and promised them for their protection, and God came in the form of Sai Jhulelal in Nasirpur. When Mirkhshah came to know the birth of Sai Jhulelal, he ordered his minister Ahirio to kill the child with a poisoned rose petal. When minister saw the infant, smiled and the petal blew out of his hand. When he caught sight of Sai Jhulelal again, he was surprised to see that, the infant had grown into an elderly man. And, the elderly man again turned into a young man, a warrior on horseback. Ahirio returned to palace recount the story to Mirkhshah. Sultan asked his minister to call Sai Jhulelal on the banks of the river. On invitation Sai Jhulelal appeared out of the river on horse, accompanying with his army. Terrified, Ahirio begged Sai Jhulelal to restrain his army, and army disappeared back into the river. He returned to palace and recount the story to Sultan. Mirkhshah called Sai jhulelal to his court with intent to forcefully convert him. Jhulelal is then said to have vanished, leaving mirkhshah enraged. Then cruel king got mad and ordered to convert immediately all Sindhi Hindu’s to Islam. Then all people rushed to Nasirpur where Sai Jhulelal was born. The infant consoled the distraught Hindu’s and commanded them to assemble at the temple near the river. On assembling a firestorm broke out and engulfed the king’s palace. The king escaped to the banks of the river, where he found Sai Jhulelal on horseback again a warrior, and he protected the Sindhi devotees from the firestorm. The king fell at Sai Jhulelal’s feet, and Sai Jhulelal dismissed the storm with the movement of his hand. The day Lord Jhulelal was born is celebrated as New Year. God Jhulelal is worshiped by Sindhi Hindu’s and also worshiped by Sufi Muslim Saints. Sufi Muslims call Lord Jhulelal as Khwaja Khizir or Sheikh Tahit. Sindhi’s greet each other with the word “Jhulelal Bera-Hee-Paar”.
Festival
Lord Jhulelal is also called Uderolal and he is potrated as a bearded figure, holding a book and a mala, sitting on a fish (string of beads). On this day many Sindhi’s get together and celebrate the festival with procession, they take Baharana Sahib to nearby river or lake. Baharana Sahib consist of a statue or picture of Sai Jhulela and Jyot (Diya or oil lamp is made of wheat flour) ,Crystal Sugar(mishri), Cardamom, clove, supari (Areca Nut), fruits and a hand full of rice and sugar (Akho). A coconut covered with red cloth and some mango leaves are also kept on the metal pot (kalash). A vessel of unseen cocked sweet rice (Ghuji Degh). In procession people go singing until they reach to the river, to perform some rituals and puja. They pray holy water of river, as Jhulelal for their prosperity and happy, peaceful life. After completing the puja, Baharana Sahib is put (immersion) in the holy water of river. After puja, prasad of sweet rice (tahiri), boiled Chana (chickpeas) along and Thandai Sharbat is distributed in all devotees. Special food is made on this day of festival is sweet rice (Tahiri) and Green leafy vegetable (sahi Bhaji). Fair (melas) is held near the temples of Jhulelal and rivers.