Mostly Vikram Samvat calendar starts the year on Shukla Paksha Pratipada during Chaitra month as Gudi Padwa. But Gujarati new year starts on Shukla Paksha Pratipada of Kartik month. Bestu Varas is New Year in Gujarati and Varsha-pratipada or Padwa are other names of the new year in Gujarat.
In 2019, the Gujarati New Year falls on Monday, 28 October. This day is celebrated with immense joy, happiness and enthusiasm in the entire state of Gujarat.
Diwali in Gujarat marks the advent of the New Year. Gujarati New Year is celebrated a day after Diwali; which is observed as Govardhan Puja. Gujarati New Year is synonymous with sudekam of the kartik month – it is the first month of Gujarati calendar.
Traditions and Significance
When people of Gokul stopped worshiping Lord Indra; then started worshiping Govardhan Hill and cows on the advise of Lord Krishna. They have to face wrath of Indra. Where Lord Krishna lifted the mount Govardhan just on his small finger; and provided shelter and safety the people, crops and the cattle. Lord Indra came to know about his mistake and soon apologized Lord Krishna.
Since then, it became a tradition to worship Govardhan Hills and celebrate this day as New Year by Gujarati people. Traditional customs and rituals are performed to welcome the New Year and bid farewell to the by gone time. Basically bestu varas is the time to forget all the misunderstandings, pains, hardships and ill-memories of past year.
Gujarati New Year Celebration
Gujrati New Year celebration starts with Govardhan Puja. According to legends; Lord Krishna worshiped the hill in order to protect the people of Mathura city in Uttar Pradesh from heavy rain.
On this day, homes of Gujarat natives are decked up with lights and flowers to celebrate the first day of year. They also visit temples to pray for a good start to the year. Other aspects of the celebrations include splendid fireworks, beautifully decorated homes and vibes of happiness and festivities all around. Women of the household prepare delicious sweets and snacks; then distributed among all the neighbors.