Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated with much enthusiasm and joy in India and other parts of the world. But is Diwali a Hindu New Year? The answer is yes and no.
In western states such as Gujarat, and certain northern Hindu communities of India, the festival of Diwali signifies the start of a new year. This is because the Hindu calendar follows the lunar cycle, and Diwali marks the beginning of the Vikram Samvat calendar. This calendar is based on the Hindu lunar month of Kartik, which usually falls in October or November.
However, in most parts of India, Diwali is not considered the beginning of a new year. Instead, the Hindu New Year is celebrated on the first day of the month of Chaitra, which usually falls in March or April. This is known as the Vikrami calendar, and it is based on the solar cycle.
So, while Diwali may be a Hindu New Year for some, it is not the case for most Hindus. Diwali is celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil, and to celebrate the return of Lord Rama from his 14-year exile. It is also a time for families to come together and celebrate with feasts, fireworks, and prayers.
The rituals and customs associated with Diwali vary from region to region. In some parts of India, people perform puja to the goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. In other parts, people perform puja to Lord Ganesha, the god of knowledge and wisdom. People also exchange gifts and sweets with their loved ones.
Diwali is also a time for reflection and introspection. People take this opportunity to reflect on their lives and set new goals for the coming year. It is also a time to forgive and forget any past wrongs and start anew.
So, while Diwali may not be a Hindu New Year for most Hindus, it is still an important festival that marks the victory of good over evil and brings people together. It is a time for celebration, reflection, and introspection.