Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bestu Varas - Gujarati New Year

Gujratis are one of the many races in India. They normally hail from the Gujrat district of western India. Gujratis are particularly known for their sweet nature, business acumen and mouth-watering delicacies. However, they are also known for their colorful lifestyle. Hence, no wonder that the lives of Guratis will be full of fun and festivities. Amongst the many festivals of Gujrat, Gujarati New Year calls for a grand celebration.

New Year is one of the major celebrations in Gujrat. It is normally celebrated on the day after Diwali. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna once worshiped the Govardhan Parbat along with the people of Vraja to protect them from heavy rain. Since then it has become the custom to worship the mountain on the day of the New Year. In many temples of Gujrat pujas special are offered to Govardhan on the day of Bestu Varas.

Bestu Varas is also called Varsha-pratipada or Padwa and falls on the month of Kartik, which is the first month of the Gujrati calendar. It is also synonymous to sudekam, which also falls on the month of Karkit as per the Hindu lunar calendar.

The Gujrati New Year plays a very crucial role in the lives of people of Gujrat. On that day religious rituals and traditions are performed to usher the New Year. Gujratis celebrate this day to let go of all their pains and sufferings from the last year and hence, this one day is celebrated in Gujrat with great fervor.

Since the day falls after the day of Diwali, which is another big celebration in Gujrat, there is no dearth of merrymaking and abundance in Gujrati New Year. On the New Year day all the houses in Gujrat are brightly lighted with oil lamps and decorated with flowers and garlands.

On Bestu Varas all Gujrati people dress up in new colorful dresses and visit the temples with flowers and sweets to offer puja to the God. The celebration continues with the people wishing happy New Year to each other. For the Gujratis this is the time to forget all past misunderstanding, rivalries and difficulties and look forward to a new start. Hence, it is the time to visit relatives and friends, socialize and exchange sweets and gifts.

To commemorate the day a lavish meal is prepared, which the family enjoys together. Both the elders and young members of the family gather together and enjoy a true Gujju meal. Gujratis prepare an array of delicious foods on that day along with their mouth-watering Gujrati sweets, which are then enjoyed and shared with relatives and neighbors.

Bestu Varas also mark the beginning of the harvest season in Gujrat and therefore is observed with great enthusiasm. Hence, this is also the time to plan for a trip to Gujrat to experience the full flavor of Gujrati life.

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