Happy New Year!
In the valley of Kashmir, where I was born, there is the tradition of viewing the platter of plenty the first thing in the morning of a New Year. The thaal (platter) includes bowls of milk and yogurt, sugar (or something sweet) and salt, fresh and dry fruit, book/notebook, pen/pencil, gold/money and a mirror. The items are placed over uncooked rice. Other items may include hot chili, pods of tamarind or similar items. At the end of the day each ingredient is transferred back to their containers.
Rice symbolizes sustenance and gold/money, abundance. The transformative process of milk turning into yogurt signifies the skill, method, duration and patience it requires for a task to begin, develop and complete. Fresh fruit and flowers celebrate the fullness of life; dry fruit, the passing of time. Sugar, salt, sour and spice signify inevitable emotions that are experienced through the year. The mirror reminds us to look frequently at ourselves during the year to assess ourselves, contemplate our thoughts and cultivate kindness to experience joy and contentment.
May the 2023 usher in peace, contentment and joy in your lives!