Diwali, the Festival of Lights is a popular festival of India but it is special for Gujaratis as it brings in their New Year too. The Gujaratis celebrate their New Year a day after Diwali, so this year it is being celebrated on October 20, 2017, and everyone right from our Prime Minister Narendra Modi are celebrating the day with much pomp and fervour. The Gujarati New year is also called Bestu Varas and it is celebrated on the first day of the Kartik month in the Shukla Paksha. While many Hindu communities celebrate their New Year during the Chaitra month, Gujaratis celebrate it during the Kartik month as they deem it to be auspicious. The reason behind this is the mythological story related with Lord Krishna who lifted the Govardhan Parbat on his little finger to save the people from the heavy torrential rain unleashed by Lord Indra. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi along with many leaders and celebrities took time out to extend wishes and greetings to the people on the occasion of Gujarati New Year on Twitter.

The incident of Lord Krishna lifting up the Govardhan Parbat is celebrated across the country as Govardhan Puja. In Gujarat, it is celebrated a day after Diwali whereas the rest of India celebrates it on the second day after Diwali. The Gujarati New Year or Bestu Varas is also called Varsha-pratipada or Padwa and coincides with Sudekam. People clean their houses, prepare rangolis and wear new clothes and offer pujas at the temples. People were wishing each other on a special day and traders and businessmen were ushering in new accounts and new businesses with the hope of gaining prosperity. Sample a few tweets below.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the way in greeting a happy new year

Rahul Gandhi wished for peace and prosperity

Happy New Year

Music composers Sachin-Jigar also wished

On Gujarati New Year, people clean their houses, make sweets, wear new clothes and wish their loved and dear ones. However, the most important work of the day is the beginning of the new accounting books for businesspersons and as the Gujarati community is more business driven this day is highly significant and auspicious for them. They close the previous year’s accounting book and worship the new book with the intent of better prospects and a great financial year ahead. They pray to Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) and Lord Ganesha (God of prosperity and well-being) for divine blessings. This puja is called Chopda Puja. Chopda in Gujarati means accounting books.