Cheti Chand

Cheti Chand is the New Year day of the Sindhi Community and is observed on the new moon day,the first day of the Sindhi Chet month (March - April).It is the second day of the Hindu Chaitra month (Chet in Sindhi),hence it is known as Chet-I-Chand (Moon of Chaitra) and is the day after Gudi Padwa(Marathi New Year) or Ugadi(New Year of Andhra).

The day is believed to be the birthday of the Lord Varuna, the God of Water.The God Varun is also believed to have incarnated as Jhulelal who protects the Sindhis,hence this day is considered to be very auspicious.There is also a popular belief that Varun Dev appeared as Jhulelal, on the first day of Chet month to save Sindhis from the of the torture of the ruler,Mirkshah,who decided to finish the Sindhi culture and Hinduism.Thus,Cheti Chand is celebrated as the birthday of the most esteemed religious personality,Ishtadeva,Uderolal Jhulelal and Sindhis worship the water.

The main festival starts with the worships of Jhulelal and Bahrano.The men perform the folk dance, Chej on sindhi music before Jhulelal.On this auspicious day,the Sindhi devotees carry "Baharana Sahib" to a nearby pond.Baharana Sahib consists of an Oil Lamp,fruits,Crystal Sugar,Cardamom and Akha.On the rear side is the 'Kalash' (Water vessel of copper) and a coconut placed in it surrounded by leaves and covered with cloth and flowers.There is an Idol of the most venerated deity, Jhulelal placed therein. On this day the Sindhis wish each other by saying - "Cheti Chand jyo Lakh Lakh Wadayun Athav".In response the other person says - "Toa khe bhi Cheti Chand jyo Lakh Lakh Wadayun Athav".

Legend

In the 10th century,there was a tyrannical Muslim leader,by the name Mirkhshah,who compelled the Hindus to adopt Islam religion.Later the torture became unbearable and the Hindus went to the bank of the river,Sindhu and prayed to the God of Water - Varuna.They took sacred bath without applying soap etc and washed and wore the same clothes.In the evening, they worshipped God Varuna,by singing devotional songs and performing folk dances.They underwent many rites and rituals, performed several sacrifices and remained vigil for forty days on the bank of the river.They prayed for the salvation and solace of Sindhis.

On the fortieth day the Lord Varun appeared and said that - on Cheti Chand.he had taken the form of Jhulelal,as a son of Rattanchand and Devaki of Nasarpur This is the new moon of Chet.This child was called as 'Uderolal',means the one emerged from the water.The child would miraculously swing on his own in the cradle and hence he was named as "Jhulelal."

When Jhulelal was grown up,he convinced Mirkhshah,by his effective preaching as follows - "Whatever you see around yourself is created by the One Supreme Lord.You call Him 'Allah' and Hindus call Him 'Ishwar'. Hindus and Muslims both are human beings in His creation and there should be no ambiguity of the Supremacy of the Lord." With the preaching and the godly involvement of Jhulelal, Mirkhshah finally surrendered and the Sindhis were relieved.