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Today – November 14, 2012 – is Govardhan Puja – Bali Pratipada – Gujarati New Year

Today – November 14, 2012 – is the day after Diwali and numerous rituals and pujas are held today by Hindu communities. The most important rituals are Govardhan Puja, Annakut, Bali Pratipada and Hindu Vikram Year 2069 or Gujarati New Year begins on the day after Diwali.

Govardan Mountain, near Mathura, which was lifted by Shri Krishna to save the people of Braj from heavy rains and flood, is worshiped on the day and is known as Govardhan Puja. Devotees offer different types of food on the day to Sri Krishna and this large amount of food forms a mountain. Therefore the festival is also known as Annakut, a mountain of food. Govardhan Parikrama, circumambulating the hill, is an important event on the day.

Bali Padyami, or Bali Pratipada, is observed after Deepavali in Karnataka and Maharashtra. Balipadyami celebrates the reign of Asura King Balindra, popularly known as Mahabali, who was killed by Vamana, an incarnation of Vishnu. Legend has it that due to a boon given by Lord Vishnu, King Balindra gets an opportunity to rule to entire universe for one day and this day is Bali Padyami.

New Year in Gujarat is celebrated on the day after Diwali and it is known as Hindu Vikram New Year. Vikram Year is the first day of the financial New Year in North India and the New Year begins on this day in Gujaratas per traditional Hindu Gujarati calendar. Vikram Year 2069 begins on November 14,2012 and is also referred as Vikram Samvatsar and Hindu New Year in the respective regions.