Gujarati New Year 2020: Bestu Varas Date, Story and Significance

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The Significance Of Gujarati New Year
The Gujarati New Year in 2020 will fall on 16th November, Monday. This festival is celebrated with lots of joy, happiness and enthusiasm across Gujarat, as it marks the beginning of the new year. In the Hindu Calendar, the new Vikram Samvat year starts on Shukla Paksha Pratipada in the month of Chaitra, during which two other important festivals -- Guddi Padwa and Ugadi -- are also celebrated.

The Celebration Of Gujarati New Year
On the other hand, Gujarati New Year begins on Shukla Paksha Pratipada of Kartik month, the day just next to Diwali. This again reminds us of the diversity of India and how the differences in the region and religious beliefs have not stopped us from attaining unity. To cite an instance, the Hindu new year starts in Chaitra month, Gujarati New Year stars in Kartik (October/November) and Tamil new year called Puthandu falls in the month of April. Incredible India!

Know What The Gujarati New Year Is Called
The different names for Gujarati New Year are ‘Bestu Varas’, ‘Varsha-Pratipada’, or simply ‘Padwa’. It is sometimes also referred to as Gujarati Nav Varsh. But most popularly it is referred to as ‘Bestu Varas’, which literally translates to ‘new year’. Like other festivals, Gujarati New Year also has a story behind it. Let’s know the story:

The Story Behind Gujarati New Year:

Lord Krishna Asked People Not To Worship Indra
It is believed that when Lord Krishna saw annual offerings and preparation for the prayers offered to Lord Indra, he convinced the people of Gokul that as farmers and shepherds, their true ‘Dharma’ was to do farming and to protect the cattle to the best of their abilities. They should not pray and conduct offerings for a deity and wait for a natural phenomenon. People of Gokul were convinced, and they stopped worshipping Lord Indra.

The Egoist Indra Was Humbled By Lord Krishna
They were worshipping Govardhan Hill and the cows on the advice of Lord Krishna. This made Indra, God of rain and thunder, angry and the people of Gokul had to face the wrath of Indra. Lord Indra flooded the village of Gokul for seven days and seven nights. Lord Krishna lifted the mount Govardhan just on his small finger; and provided shelter and safety to the people, crops, and the cattle. Later, Lord Indra realized his mistake and soon apologized to Lord Krishna.

Since then, it has become a tradition to worship Govardhan Hills and celebrate this day as New Year by Gujarati people. Customs and rituals of Govardhan Puja are performed to welcome the New Year and bid farewell to the year past by.

Gujarati New Year 2020: The Important Timings
Gujarati New Year Date: November 16, 2020, Monday
Pratipada Tithi Begins: 10:36 AM on Nov 15, 2020
Pratipada Tithi Ends: 07:06 AM on Nov 16, 2020

Bestu Varas Festival: The Rituals And The Way Of Celebrating It
Gujarati New Year is celebrated by the closure of the old chopda and the opening of the new chopda. In Gujarat, traditional account books are known as ‘Chopda’.

New Chopda is opened during Diwali Puja, in the presence of Goddess Lakshmi to seek her blessings. This ritual is known as Chopda Pujan. During this ritual, account books are marked with auspicious writings of ‘Shubh’ and ‘Labh’, meaning ‘auspicious’ and ‘benefit’ respectively. A Swastika is drawn at the beginning of the book, to make the forthcoming financial year profitable.

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It’s An Important Day For Businesspersons
This marks an important day for businesspersons in North India and even more in Gujarat. The account books are worshipped in the presence of both Goddess Lakshmi and Saraswati. Though the businesses are closed on Diwali and open on the day of Labh Panchami, the whole staff and the families are invited for the Chopda Pujan.

People Clean Their Houses On This Day In Gujarat
Also, on this day, Gujrati houses are cleaned and decked up in festivity and grandeur. People wake up early in the morning and visit temples to give an auspicious start to the new year. After that, they proceed to light up some firecrackers, eat up some sweets and snacks, and get dressed to meet up with their friends and family.

Happy New Year!
On this day of new and auspicious beginnings, we wish you a Happy Gujarati New Year. It is also a day of meeting your friends and family to wish the best. You can wish your Gujju friends a happy new year in Gujarati with ‘Saal Mubarak’, which translates to ‘Greetings for the Year’! Make your New Year, the year 2021 more profitable with our 2021 REPORT.

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With Ganesha’s Grace,
The GaneshaSpeaks.com Team