The Gujarati New Year, also known as the “Bestu Varas,” is celebrated on the day following the festival of Diwali, usually in the month of October or November. the Gujarati New Year after Diwali is a time for new beginnings, gratitude, and celebration. The day falls on the first day of the Hindu month of Kartik, which usually falls in October or November according to the Gregorian calendar. It is a time for people to come together, exchange greetings and wishes, and start afresh with renewed enthusiasm and hope.
Gujarati New Year’s Eve is marked with tremendous fervor and excitement. They dress up in new outfits, adorn their homes with flowers and lights, and cook delectable traditional delicacies. Prayers and sacrifices to Lord Ganesha and other deities begin the day.
The sharing of greetings and well-wishes is a major tradition of the Gujarati New Year. They greet one another with “Nutan Varshabhinandan” or “Saal Mubarak” (meaning “Happy New Year”) and exchange sweets and presents. It is also usual for individuals to pay visits to friends and family members to commemorate the occasion.
Why Do They Celebrate Their New Year After Diwali?
According to mythology, King Vikramaditya, a legendary monarch of ancient India, established the Vikram Samvat calendar around 57 BCE. Gujarati New Year is observed on the very first day of the Hindu month of Kartik, which occurs in October or November according to the Gregorian calendar.
Diwali, on the other hand, is celebrated in the Hindu month of Ashwin, which corresponds to October or November in the Gregorian calendar. Diwali is a light celebration that commemorates the triumph of good over evil and the homecoming of King Rama to Ayodhya following his victory over Ravana.
The Gujarati New Year follows Diwali because the Vikram Samvat calendar begins at a different point than the Gregorian calendar. Bestu Varas, or the Gujarati New Year, is therefore celebrated following Diwali. Bestu Varas is celebrated after Diwali because of the gap between both the Vikram Samvat calendar and the Gregorian calendar, which causes the New Year to fall in a different month than Diwali.
How is Gujarati New Year Celebrated?
Before the New Year, people clean their homes and decorate them with flowers, lights, and rangolis (intricate designs made with colored powders). Preparing traditional food: Special traditional dishes are prepared for the occasion, such as undhiyu, puran poli, dhokla, and shrikhand.
People offer prayers to Lord Ganesha and other deities for blessings and good luck in the New Year. They also seek blessings from their elders and visit temples. People exchange greetings and gifts with their friends and family members and wish them a happy New Year.
The New Year is also celebrated in Gujarat with a specific dance called “Garba,” which is done around a clay lamp known as a “diya.” Men and women create concentric circles around the diya and dance to the rhythm of traditional music. Fireworks are a common part of the New Year celebrations, with people lighting fireworks and crackers to welcome the New Year.
Overall, Bestu Varas is an important cultural and social event for the Gujarati population, reflecting the rich history and customs of the state. The Gujarati New Year is a time of joy, hope, and new beginnings. It brings people together to celebrate their culture, traditions, and community.