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 2022, the Gujarati New Year falls on Wednesday, 26 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. It is synonymous with sudekam of the Kartik month – it is the first month of the Gujarati calendar.
Traditions and Significance
When the people of Gokul stopped worshiping Lord Indra; they started worshiping Govardhan Hill and cows on the advice of Lord Krishna. They have to face the wrath of Indra. Where Lord Krishna lifted the mount Govardhan just on his small finger; and provided shelter and safety to the people, crops, and cattle. Lord Indra came to know about his mistake and soon apologized to 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 bygone time. Basically, bestu varas are the time to forget all the misunderstandings, pains, hardships, and ill-memories of the past year.
Gujarati 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, the homes of Gujarat natives are decked up with lights and flowers to celebrate the first day of the 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 distribute them among all the neighbors.