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|Native name||चैत्र (Sanskrit)|
In the standard Hindu calendar and India's national civil calendar, Chaitra is the first month of the year. It is the last month in the Bengali calendar, where it is called Choitro. Chaitra or Chait is also the last month in the Nepali calendar (the Vikram Samvat), where it commences in mid-March. Chithirai is the first month in the Tamil calendar. In the Sindhi calendar, this month is referred to as Chet and is marked by the celebration of the Cheti Chand (birth of Jhulelal, an incarnation of Vishnu). In the Vaishnava calendar, Vishnu governs this month.
In the more traditional reckoning, the first month commences in March or April of the Gregorian calendar, depending upon whether the Purushottam Maas (extra month for alignment of lunar or solar calendar) was observed in the year. There is no fixed date in the Gregorian calendar for the 1st day of Chaitra, i.e., the beginning of the Hindu New Year.
Hindi and Marathi: चैत्र chaitra, Gujarati: ચૈત્ર chaitra, Nepali: चैत chait, Rajasthani: चेत chet, Punjabi: ਚੇਤ cēt, Bengali: চৈত্র Choitro, Assamese: চ’ত sot, Odia: ଚୈତ୍ର Chaitra, Kannada: ಚೈತ್ರ Chaitra, Telugu: చైత్రము chaitramu, Tamil: சித்திரை chithirai, Malayalam: ചൈത്രം chaitram.
The month of Chaitra is also associated with the departure of spring. Holi, the spring festival of colour, is celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) of Phalguna, the month before Chaitra, exactly six days after which the festival of Chaiti is observed.
In lunar religious calendars, Chaitra begins with the new moon in March/April and is the first month of the year. The nine-day festival Chaitra Navratri or Nava Durga (nine forms of Goddess Durga) starts from Krishna Pratipada. The first day of month Chaitra is celebrated as New Year's Day, known as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu and Ugadi in Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In West Bengal, Basanti Puja, Annapurna Puja, Ram Nabami, Neel Puja and Chorok Puja aka 'Gajon' are held consecutively before the beginning of Bengali New Year on Poila Baishakh.
- Henderson, Helene. (Ed.) (2005) Holidays, festivals, and celebrations of the world dictionary Third edition. Electronic edition. Detroit: Omnigraphics, p. xxix. ISBN 0-7808-0982-3
- TimeAndDate.com presents Chaitra Sukhladi in Gregorian Calendars
- nine day festival: https://www.bhaktibharat.com/en/festival/navratri
- "Gudi Padawa".
- "Chaitra Vishu".