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Bestu Varas is today: Its significance and how is the Gujarati New Year celebrated?

Bestu Varas is today: Its significance and how is the Gujarati New Year celebrated?

Bestu Varas is today: Its significance and how is the Gujarati New Year celebrated?
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By CNBCTV18.com Oct 25, 2022 2:39:55 PM IST (Updated)

Bestu Varas is of special significance for Gujarati businessmen and traders who open new books of account and close the old ones

Bestu Varas or the Gujarati New Year is celebrated a day after Diwali on the Pratipada Tithi in the month of Kartik. The day is also called Varsha Pratipada or Padwa and is celebrated with great fervour in Gujarat. This year, Gujaratis are celebrating their New Year today, October 25.

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Significance and how it is celebrated
Bestu Varas is of special significance for Gujarati businessmen and traders who start new books of account and close the old ones. These account books are called chopda or bahi-khata. Prayers are offered to Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, with the hope that the New Year will be prosperous and profitable. There is no particular method of performing the puja. Some traders prefer to call a priest to perform the puja while others follow the Jain vidhi.
The sacred Swastika symbol is also drawn on the books as part of the ritual and the words shubh (auspiciousness) and labh (profit/wealth) are written on the new account books.
Govardhan puja
Bestu Varas or the Gujarati New Year coincides with Govardhan Puja. Legend has it that Lord Krishna, who spent his early years in the Braj region, encouraged people to follow their dharma and not make huge offerings to gods. Inspired by him, the people of the region, who made rich offerings to Lord Indra, discontinued the age-old tradition. This enraged Lord Indra who lashed the region with torrential rains and thunderstorms. People suffered huge losses of property and livestock as a result of Indra's wrath. To protect the people, Krishna, the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, lifted the enormous Govardhan mountain. After seven days and seven nights, Lord Indra conceded defeat.
 
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