Gujaratis begin their celebrations even before Dhanteras. The first day is celebrated as Agyaras, when the tastiest of snacks is prepared, to wish New Year to neighbours and relatives. Sounds mouth-watering!
The second day is called Vagh Baras or Vasu Baras.
Vagh Baras occurs on Aso vad 12, the 12th dark day of Aso. This is also known as Govatsa dwadashi and Guru Dwadashi. On this day the cow and calf are worshiped. 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 Panchm.
“Vagh” also means “tiger” in Gujarati. Vagh baras is celebrated in a unique fashion in some Dhodia villages where some 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.
In 2016, Vagh Baras will be celebrated on Thursday, 29th October 2016.