Estd. 2006
Khasi New Year’s Day from Hynniewtrep Almanac

Sharmili Sutradhar

It is better late than never says the maxim. Till date there has not been any exposition in the drawing or puts its marks about the Hynniewtrep Almanac, where and when it begins. Therefore, all these years it remains in obscurity even upto the 21st Century. That is why, the Khasi race or the Hynniewtrep people had been in the dark about the New Year’s day of their own community.Till now the Indian and International scientists were focussing on the “Science of time”. They have named that “Mawmluh cave, approximity to Cherrapunjee of the then Hima Nongkhlaw of U Tirot Sing. They declare it as the “Meghalayan Age”.  It was recommended that 4000 years ago was the beginning of the modern world now.

                As stated, the scientists have declared the “Mawmluh cave” as the Meghalayan Age of the entire world. A few decades back, the scientists of the Geological Survey of India declared that “Rani ghar” or Ranikor was the home of the now extinct animal called “Dinosaur” who lived and prospered there 60 millions years ago. That area is the confluence of Wah Blei and Wah Kynshi and beyond Nongkhnum of Hima Nongstoin is a scenic beauty. Nongkhnum is the second largest river island of Asia after Majuli in Assam. That confluence is conjugated again with Wah Rilang of Maharam Syiemship. Then it flows majestically through “Mawpyllun rock” in the middle of river Kynshi-Rilang. The people of Sylhet then in Assam Province but now in Bangladesh called that same river as river “Jadugata” or Jadugatha which means the magic stories of the yore in early days.

The Parable of U Lum Sohpetbneng.

                Ethnically speaking, Khasi race claiming oneself as one of the ancient race of the world. They had been living in and around Sohpetbneng Mount (4400 ft) above sea level. Since time immemorial, it has been narrated orally that we stepped down into this world through the “Tangnub Tangjri” in golden and olden time connecting heaven above and the earth below. At first there were Sixteen nests and Sixteen huts. Later the Nine nests and the Nine huts climbed up above never to return into this world. Only the Seven nests and the Sevenhuts remained. We the “lucky Seven” called the Nine huts and Nine nests that they were dead. They were called as “Kylla Khyndai” which means that all of the nine above were dead.

                When they descended from the heavenly stairs known as “Ka Tangnub Tangjri” or Ka Jingkieng Ksiar Golden stairs. At ‘Lawnongkhroh of Sohpetbneng Mountit is still seen the remnants of “Mawshyieng” or stone enclosure resembling of a box for depositing the bones of the dead or a stone cairns of the first seven exagamous group. There are seven “Mawbah” or seven big stones or rock (Imit.Mawbah Mawsan) a big ancestral bone repository or cairn. These revelation might be the ancient “seven nests or seven huts” which was the seven progenitors through the seven clans or seven exagamous group from heaven above to the Sohpetbneng Mount below. Ki Hynniew Skum Hynniew Trep, The Ancestors of the Khasi Race, drifted away from God to choose his own way and thus the Golden Bridge or Stair had to collapse. This Parable speaks of one thing and that is Man’s Trangression and Man’s Fall.

The Parable of U Lum Diengiei.

                After the Fall there grew on the top of U Diengiei Peak (6100 ft. above sea level) another Tree which was as big as it was tall and its everspreading branches and leaves became so thick as to overcast the Earth with darkness. This darkness signifies Man’s spiritual crisis. The more he groped in the dark the more he stumbled and the more he advanced the more he got lost and finally he turned to God with repentance. He felled down the Tree and God-Man relation was restored. The central idea of this Parable is Man’s Repentance and in the Diengiei Episode we see God in all his Love and Glory-the forgiving love that never fails Man and the Glory untainted by Man’s evererring ways.

The Parabale of Ka Krem Lamet Ka Krem Latang.

                In the Parable of Ka Krem Lamet ka Krem Latang, the central idea is man’s Reconciliation with God. A day was fixed for a Dance Festival at around the “Lum Shyllong Peak area” (6445 ft above the sea level). Where all living creatures turned up in their grand costumes. They danced throughout the day until they were tired and towards evening when they were about to depart, there arrived the Sun and the Moon, a sister and a brother, and they too danced. Everyone booed at them mockingly saying that it was evil that a brother and sister should dance together. Actually it was the evil in the heart of Man to see evil when it was not there.

                In anger the Sun went off to hide herself inside one Cave called “Ka Krem Lamet Ka krem Latang” (or The Cave of hidden green). With her withdrawl to the cave, the Earth was enveloped with a total darkness (solar eclipse). This signifies Man’s spiritual crisis in its climax. Man had to find out ways and means to induced the Sun to comeback and in this Man left no stone unturned. Finally a Cock was used as Messenger and with its crowing, the Sun reappeared and therewas light again, and Man’s Reconcilliation with God was thus effected and re-established.             

                Last year we sat at the Riti Academy Visual Arts’ Hall on November 23rd, 2018 at Umsohsun Shillong as a sweet remembrance for (late) Bahduh Nishan Wahlang a journalist of repute in the yester years, who had expired at the Seng Kut Snem day on November 23rd, 2016 at Mawpun, Golf ‘s Link, Shillong. Among the prominent citizens who attended included Mr.Bindo Mathew Lanong, former Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Mr.Hispreaching Son Shylla, Chief Executive Member, KHADC, Mr.Herman Nongrum, former Judge of Meghalaya who retired as the Registrar of The Gauhati High Court, Shillong Bench, Shillong. Mr.Nongrum informed at the remembrance day of (Late) B.Nishan Wahlang on November 23, 2018that he was akward, in which he was not able to fulfil the desire of Mr.Wahlang to find the Khasi New Year’s Day to let him know before his death. All of us were there at the function were in a  stunt and remain dumbfounded.

                Off course, there are perpetual calendar or Almanac in the world such as Chinese Calendar, Cotsworth Calendar, Gregorian Calendar, International Fixed Calendar, Jewish Calendar, Julian Calendar, Roman Calendar, Assamese Calendar, Bengalee Calendar or Nepalese Calendar. That is why we have a different New Year’s day according to the varieties of Almanac. Mr. Hispreaching Son Shylla through his book named “Hynniewphew sngi u Daniel” or The Seventy days of Daniel, wrote that the Lord Jesus Christ was born on the October 1, 3 B.C. But the Gregorian Calendar declared that the 25th December as the birthday of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, the Orthodox Christian such as Herzogivina in the Balkan Europe and Russian Orthodox declared that the Sixth January as the birthday of Jesus Christ every year.

                Such discomfort on the birthday of Lord Jesus Christ had been eluded and how to solve it, it was the bigger problem. So the heirship of the Holy Order of the Roman Catholic Church Pope No 226, Pope Gregory XIII wanted to correct the above discrepancies. He was the Pope from May 13, 1572 to April 10, 1585, (12 years and 33 days only). The Holy Pope Gregory XIII , Papa GREGORIUS Tertius Decimus whose maiden name was Ugo Boncompagni who was born at Bologna, Papal states of South Eastern Europe. He was the person who introduced a ‘Gregorian Calender’ or Almanac for the benefit of all.

                During his Popeship, he introduced the new calendar called “Gregorian Calendar” which included 365 days a year. But the Julian Calendar contained only 355 days a year. However although Gregorian XIII introduced 365 days a year. But in four years time, it is calculated to be a “Leap Year”, which jump one day ahead to become 366 days which means leap year in the month of February shall be extended to 29 days every four years. The former fourth Prime Minister of India Mr. Morarji Desai was born on the leap year day of February 29th, 1896. He became Prime Minister of India in the year 1978-79. During his life time he enjoyed birthday only once in four years. He died on April 4th, 1995.

                As per the Gregorian Almanac, there are seven days in a week. But the Khasi Calendar or Almanac is fixed for eight days in a week. When a moon rotates in full blooming moon. We used to called a ‘Nai Khatsaw Synnia or Khatsaw Miet, which means a total fullmoon. So, if any young man who was handsome, fully blossom and attracting, in manly strength and responsibilities at home or society. We exclaim him as U ‘NaiKhatsaw Synnia. Such a person is admired him by hearth and home and society. We calculated that 28 days is an imaginary or marginally 28 days calculated to be one month in Khasi Almanac. Therefore if accepted this 28 days in a month it amounting to 280 days in a year in our Hynniewtrep Almanac.

                Whereas in Gregorian Calendar is nine months for 270 days while we were germinate in our mother’s womb. And this 270 or 280 is ripen to be born into this world by an act of God. We accepted with a full heart and open mind; whether it was to be born either a female or a male child. Each family is multiplying into a kurship of clanship to be increasing in the human race wherever we are born.

                In case if a father is expired during the pregnancy of the child. Such children to be born are known as the phostomous child. But if the mother who carries a child in her womb pregnated owing to ill health and could not deliver successfully her child. Both mother and child might get a fatal death. So that is why a well known Poet- laureate of the Khasis said in his famous book “Ki Sngi Barim u Hynniewtrep” or The Olden Age of Hynniewtrep. U Soso Tham  said that the moment he arrived into heaven, the first thing I would do is to find where my mother is?

                So if we add together the 14 nights it means 28 days according to Khasi or Hynniewtrep Almanac. So if the 28 days plus in a joint calculation of (8x4) will be or 32 days of market Calendar in Khasi. The answer would be around 30 days in between. If we proceed the 28 days that the moon moves in its circumference journeying around the earth in 28 days. Therefore we could get 13 months a year; which means (28x13) days in a year according to Hynniewtrep Calendar. It means making 364 days in a year.

                The Hynniewtrep Almanac starts from the last week of Octber upto the second week of November. Therefore we call it Risaw Byrshem bnai Naiwieng (October –Mid – November) is the first week of each year according to Hynniewtrep Almanac. Secondly, the remaining days of November would be the second month. Thirdly, the middle of December on the first or second week of January would be the third month as per the Hynniewtrep Almanac.

                Of all the four season in Hynniewtrep Khasi land, the Autumn is the New Year month of the year. It is the best season of the year. Its life is not more than 40 days. It stays only 20 days before new moon and thereafter follows 20 days towards the new fullmoon. Even the nature itself is corroborating ascending its season. We saw that the green leaves of trees are changing its colour towards yellowish. It means that the winter is next to come. Kyllang Rock (5684 ft above the sea level)which is one of the magnificent peak of the Shillong Plateau. During the Autumn season the Kyllang flowers Autumn or “Kyllang Synrai” flowers are blooming merrier attracting the eyes of the tourist and welcoming the New Year.

                Almanactically speaking, the first season in this part of the country included 1.Autumn season it lasted for 40 days; 2. Winter seasonit spread for 100 days or more earlier upto the year 1964-65. In the past the Apple fruits grows extensively at Mylliem, Upper Shillong upto Nongrimmaw locality of Laitumkhrah. Now the apple is no more in Shillong because the winter is limit only to 90 days which disfavoursthe growing of apple tree. 3. The Spring season is only for 100 days only. 4. Lastly the Summer season is about 135 days. Totally we got 365 days in a year with a different variation. However in the equatorial belt of the world it has no variation in climate but it enjoys only one season in a year.

                Last but not the least, owing to the wish longing, and lingering of (L) Bah B.Nishan Wahlang (Kpa u Rafael Warjri).Mr. Herman Nongrum appealed in November 23, 2018 last year, to search in finding the date of the Khasi New Year’s Day according to Hynniewtrep Almanac. So, this struck my attention and I take the initiative to fulfil the longing of (L) Bah Nishan Wahlang to work on Khasi New Year’s Day. So, I offer myself to have a thorough diagnosis of the previous Almanac available. I am glad to say, that it was found that the month of November 10, 2018 last year the NEW MOON was in the Autumn Almanac in the year 2018.

                Now in the year 2019, the new moon would appear in the horizontal sky on October 28, 2019. It means that 27-28 at 12 midnight would be the New Year’s day for this year. We can observe and declared that the 28th October 2019 to be a National Day of the Hynñiewtrep people in KHASILAND. It is to mention herewith that the Khasi New Year’s Day is base on any specific day, but on the apperance of the NEW MOON during Autumn Season every year.

                Lastly, if we look forward about the next coming year 2021 definitely the next new moon next year it could risen or appear on the horizontal sky shall be on the November 15, 2020. Again the 14th-15th November next year 2020, would be the new New Year day for the year 2021 in Hynniewtrep Almanac. Therefore as stated, it can be predicted that the next New Year day would be majestically appear on November 15, 2020. Therefore, let us rejoicing in advance about the next November 15th, 2020 would be the Khasi New Year’s day as per Hynñiewtrep Almanac 2021.

November 2019