Diwali in Gujarat : 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.
Agyaras: (Aso vad 11)
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: (Aso vad 12)
This is also known as Govatsa dwadashi and Guru Dwadashi. On this day the cow and calf are worship. 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 Pancham. Vagh baras is also celebrated in a unique fashion in some Dhodia villages where, 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: (Aso vad 13)
Most community worship the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, by performing puja. Material wealth in the form of gold jewelry & money (or old coins/Diamonds) often 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 Chaudash: (Aso vad 14)
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 samshan in Hindi) to get powerful results.
Diwali: (30th 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.
Bestu Varas (Hindu New year)
- 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 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'(Sanskrit/ Gujarati) "shub varsh",Happy new year.
The day starts with the heavy fire works, to welcome New Year, in the early morning as Hindu believes morning starts at 4am. The local young boys sells raw salt (collected from Salt evaporation pond) calling it "sabras"means all taste, to make the natives new year prosperous. House is decorated with the aaso palav & marigolds(galgota)/s toran (Door hangings) & rangoli beside front door. Home made snacks are offered to the guests & neighbors who comes to wish the 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).
kartak sud Bij(2), 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.
kartak sud pacham(5), 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.
Kartak sud Purnima(full moon day), 15th day of kartak, 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.