- Diwali in Gujarat
Diwali is the major Indian celebration, which takes place in autumn. In Gujarat the Diwali celebrations take on a number of distinct characteristics.. It occurs in the second (dark) lunar fortnight (Krishna Paksha) of the month of Ashvin (Gujarati "Aaso") and the first (bright) fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of Kartika (Guj. "Kartik"). Aaso is the last month of the Gujarati calendar, and Kartik the first.
From Aaso vad Agyaras (11th day from full/no moon) to Dev Diwali people lit the diyas (now uses lamp series also) to decorate the house, which protects them from evil spirits as believed.
Aygaras occurs on Aso vad 11, the 11th dark day of Aso. Gujaratis begin their Diwali celebrations before Dhan Teras, on the 11th day of aaso. The day is devoted to preparing the choicest snacks and dry fruits, to wish new year to relatives & neighbours.
Vagh Baras occurs on Aso vad 12, the 12th dark day of Aso.: This is also known as Govatsa dwadashi and Guru Dwadashi. On this day the cow and calf are worshiped. Vagh here refers to repaying one's financial debts. Therefore people clear their account ledgers (khata) today and do not enter into new transactions using new ledgers until after Labh Panchm u need to be generous Vagh baras is also celebrated in a unique fashion in some Dhodia villages where some men colour themselves in stripes representing the Vagh and others as plain white or other colours denoting cattle. The tiger chases the cattle. Finally, at the end of the sport, the village inhabitants eat food together at a common place and celebrate.
Dhanteras occurs on Aso vad 13, the 13th dark day of Aso.: Most communities worship the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, by performing puja. Material wealth in the form of gold jewelry and money (or old coins/Diamonds) are often used to represent wealth in these worship ceremonies. Gujaratis believe money spent on this day will bring prosperity to their family and home during the coming year.
Kali Choudash occurs on Aso vad 14, the 14th dark day of Aso.: Kali means black or mahakali (goddess who wins over black magic). Chaudash means 14. So the natives prepare Vada to Hanumanji and get protection from ghosts & evils spirits. Tantric's goes to the crematorium (called smashan in Gujarati) (called samshan in Hindi) to get powerful results.
Lakshmi Puja the central day of Diwali, occurs on new moon day (Amas), Aso vad 15, the last dark day of Aaso. (15th day from full moon day when moon disappears). Celebrated in all parts of India. Diwali is the last day of the Hindu year and people go to temples and thank the gods for the wonderful previous year. People wish a Happy Diwali to neighbors & relatives via cards (recently SMSs/emails/calls). The whole day is considered as the last day to prepare for the coming new year. People explode expensive fireworks throughout the entire night. Mostly natives perform special puja(worship) of the goddess of Wealth 'Laxmi'. The houses are decorated with diyas specially in open spaces opposite the front door. Even rangoli is prepared around the lit diyas.
- It is referred at the Hindu new year according to the Indian calendar based on lunar cycles, and 'Kartak' is the first month in this new year while 'Ekam' refers to the first day
- People greet each other on this day by uttering, Saal Mubaarak. This is an Urdu saying but is said commonly by Gujarati people (Hindi/Gujarati/ Urdu), 'nutanvarsh abhinandan' is the perfect Gujarati word to wish Bestu Varas (Sanskrit/ Gujarati) "shub varsh", Happy New Year.
The day starts with heavy fireworks, to welcome New Year, in the early morning, as Hindus believe morning starts at 4am. The local young boys sell raw salt (collected from a salt evaporation pond), calling it "sabras" -- which means all taste, to make the natives' new year prosperous. Homes are decorated with the aaso palav & marigolds (galgota)/s toran (door hangings) & rangoli beside the front door. Home-made snacks are offered to the guests & neighbors who come to wish a good new year.
- Bali pujan on this day. Lord Vaman asked King Bali for 3 strides of land (ref. Devpodhi Ekadashi for details). King Bali pleased the Lord by offering everything. In remembrance of his devotion, Vamanji gave a boon that this auspicious day will be famed as 'Balipratipadaa' (Skand Puran 24/10).
Bhai Bij occurs on the 2nd bright day of Kartik (Kartak sud Bij) . On this day the sister worships her brother.The brother stands for Krishna who did the noble deed of killing the demon Narkasura. Sister wishes him a long & healthy life and offers him Tilak & Aarti with warmth.The sister asks the Lord for the well-being of her brother, who is her Protector.is the time where in the bond of love between a brother and sister is further strengthened as sister invites brother at her home for dinner/lunch asks God for her brother/s long and successful life while she receives presents from her beloved brother's as a token of love & affection.
Labh Pacham occurs on the 5th bright day of Kartik (kartak sud pacham), the shop owners & most businessmen starts their business for the year, which they had closed since diwali. They start new account ledgers(Khatu) by writing "Shubh" means Auspicious, on left & "Labh" means Profit, on right & Sathiya on center, on 1st page. People also go for shopping which is said to be profitable & lucky for whole year.
The celebration of Kartik Poornima also falls on the 15th day of Kartik. On this day the belief is that, after leaving king Bali, the lord rejoined on this day. The Gods celebrated his arrival in jubilation. Locals also celebrate the day with the fire works in the morning & wishes all the relatives/neighbours new year wishes whom they could not wished during new year, as it is considered the last day to greet new year.
- ^ Diwali in Gujarat at diwalifestival.org
- ^ Diwali in Gujarat at diwalifestival.org
- ^ Vagh baras at swaminarayan.org
- ^ Dhanteras at diwalifestival.org
- ^ Kali Choudas at diwalifestival.org
- ^ Laxmi Pujan at diwalifestivals.org
- ^ Bestu Varsh at diwalifestival.org:
- ^ Bhaubeej at diwalifestival.org
- ^ Labh Pacham at diwalifestival.org
- ^ Deva Devali at diwalifestival.org
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