The Indian New Year's Day is determined by the Mesha Sankranti or the solar transit into Aries, but after that it's up for grabs.
The people of India use around 30 calendars. As a result, they have almost as many New Year’s Days.
In most cases, these are determined by the day the sun transits into the zodiac rashi (rasi) of Mesha (Aries), and event called the Mesha Sankranti. Because the Sanskrit for Aries or Ram, “aja”, means “that which is not born,” the sign is taken to refer to the First Cause: the cause of everything, but itself uncaused. In other words, a perfect, most auspicious new beginning. The belief is that on this day, Lord Brahma began the creation of the universe.
But when that is, depends on which calendar is used (cf. Hindu calendars). Some begin the New Year on the day of the Mesha Sankranti, others start counting on the first day of the month during which it happens. That month can be the lunar month or the solar month, the beginning of which is also subject to variable rules.
For many, New Year’s Day falls on the first day of the lunar month of Chaitra. In the National Indian Calendar, Chaitra begins on 22 March (21 March in a leap year), but in the many more popular religious calendars the first day varies.
- 14 March 2007: Sikh New Year’s Day on the first day of Chet in the Nanakshahi calendar.
- 19-20 March 2007: Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
- 22 March is 1 Chaitra in the official Indian Calendar, but it is ignored by most.
- 30 March: Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra.
For others, the lunar month of Chaitra begins later, around 14 April: