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Saal Mubarak (Gujarati: સાલ મુબારક, Hindi: साल मुबारक), is a traditional Gujarati greeting reserved for use on Diwali and Gujarati New Year, which is a day after Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights and the triumph of good over evil, as well as light over darkness. It is also used by Parsi Zoroastrians in India to mark the first day of their Shahanshahi calendar New Year which occurs in August. Parsi Zoroastrians came to India as refugees in the 7th Century from Iran. Saal means year, and mubarak is an originally Arabic term meaning blessing or good wishes. The phrase 'Saal Mubarak' is Gujarati equivalent of Happy New Year.
Gujarati New Year, also known as Bestu Varas (sitting year), is celebrated the day after the Diwali and is the fourth day of the five-day Diwali festival. The Gujarati New Year is on Kartak Sud Ekam (The first month and first day of the Gujarati Lunar Calendar, Kartak is the first month in this new year while Ekam refers to the first day).
The Gujarati community all over the world celebrates the New Year to mark the beginning of a new fiscal year and people put their worries behind them and prepare to welcome a new beginning. Gujaratis will continue with the festivities from Diwali the day before and decorate their homes with rangoli patterns and garlands, light diyas and set off fireworks. It is tradition for people to wear new clothes on New Years Day and to show respect to their elders to seek their blessings. Revellers will visit family and friends to exchange gifts of money and homemade sweets and wish health and prosperity for the new year. People will also visit mandirs to offer puja to the gods.
In other culture
The new year of Nepal Sambat, lunar calendar of Nepal, also starts on the fourth day of Diwali.
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