The New Year for Hindus is considered to be initiated
with the festival of Diwali. Being one of the important festivals of
Hindus, Deepavali is celebrated with much fervor by them. There are two
reasons for these celebrations, one the comeback of Lord Ram to Ayodhya
along with his wife Sita and younger brother Lakshman and secondly
according to the Hindu calendar the day of Diwali is regarded to be the
starting of the New Year for the Hindus worldwide. The occasion is
commemorated by wearing new clothes, spring-cleaning and white washing
the houses, decorating the entrance of the homes with rangolis and
finally exchanging the Diwali gifts with each other.
All these things symbolize some thing or the other like the wearing of
new clothes on the occasion of New Year or Diwali eve symbolizes the
start of some thing new. Cleaning of the houses signifies the discard of
the excess baggage before starting with the New Year.
On this occasion old business accounts and deals are settled and new
account books are opened. Special ceremony is performed to worship the
books and the participants are encouraged to get free from vices like
anger, hate and jealousy from their lives. Like any other festival the
New Year also has some customs and traditions associated with it. To
start the day young children are required to bow down and touch the feet
of their adults for blessings and good wishes.
Secondly people wear new clothes and exchange gifts, sweets, fruits and
gifts among them. 56 varieties of food are offered to the deities in
order to satiate their appetite and then this very food is distributed
among the visitors of the temple. In the evening prayers are offered to
the Hindu gods like Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Kali, Kubera
and Lord Ram.
After the prayers people indulge themselves in festivities like
lighting the candles and small diyas and burst the firecrackers and
indulge in the yummiest of feasts.