Gujarati New Year is celebrated among all the major festivities in the month of October. It is celebrated on the next day of Diwali. Gujarati New Year is synonymous with sudekam of the kartik month – it is the first day of first month of Gujarati calender.
Bestu Varas is New Year in Gujarati and Varsha-pratipada or Padwa are other names of the same. According to the legends, Lord Krishna once performed Govardhan Pooja along with the people of Vraja for their protection from heavy rains. Since then, it became a tradition to worship Govardhan Parvat and celebrate this day as a New Year.
Tradtional customs and rituals are performed to welcome the New Year and bid farewell to the by gone time. It's a day of blooming desires and zest. Bestu Varas is the time to reitre all the pains, sufferings and memories of past year.
New Year in Gujarat is the time to make merry. Since these celebrations are escalated at the time of Diwali, it marks a mirthful experience for all the gujjus. Almost all Gujarati houses are lighted colorfully and decorated with flowers. On this day, people dress up nicely and visit temples with flowers and mithai. Everyone wish each other New Year whilst offering prayers to God. Some temples in Gujarat also conduct a grand Govardhan Pooja.
A lavish meal at the end of the day credits the festival spirit. Most of the Gujaratis indulge in heavy eating this day. Thus, New Year in Gujarat reflects the true spirit of Indian tradition. The essence of Gujarati culture and religion can be felt in the New Year celebrations. Love, unity and togetherness are the intangible assets of these celebrations.