Marwari New Year
Marwaris of Rajasthan consider Diwali as their New Year. They believe Diwali to be an auspicious day to venture into new projects and thus celebrate it as New Year’s day. It usually falls in the month of October – November. The Marwari New Year is celebrated with great charm and exuberance in almost all parts of Rajasthan.
Marwari New Year Celebrations
Diwali celebrations begin almost a month before the festival. Ahoi Ashtami is a women’s day celebrated a week before Diwali. On this day, women fasts for long lives of their husbands and adorn their house doors with mirror worked hangings. The Bania – Marwari community celebrate this day very religiously. In some houses, age – old tradition of making the sketch of Ahoi Mata with geru (paste of red powder diluted in water) is followed. Sometimes, her picture is hung or made on the wall, which is layered with cow dung and a coat of fresh lime is applied. This is a holy wall of Marwaris and the prosperous Diwali pooja is done in front of this wall. They worship Goddess Laxmi (goddess of wealth) and Lord Ganesha on the day of Diwali. Family members does a parikrama around the sanctum and accomplish it with the Satyanarayan Aarti. After the pooja, Charnamrit – a mixture of curd , unboiled milk, tulsi leaves and sugar is given to every one present at the pooja.
People often buy a silver coin as it seen as a good omen. Diwali is the time when new account books are prepared by all traders after the pooja. They believe good luck and prosperity ushers when new books of accounts are opened and a betel leaf is kept in it on the New Year’s day.