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Festive spirit: Gujaratis celebrate New Year today

November 10, 2007, 4:34 PM IST India India
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Ahmedabad: Its not just diyas that are lighting up the lives of Gujaratis this Diwali, the state also celebrates New Year this Saturday. In keeping with tradition, the next few days will be all play and no work for Gujaratis. Usually, Himanshu Patel gets little time away from his work to be at home with his family. But this week they are enjoying a double treat - Diwali followed by Gujarati New Year. Housewife Vidula Patel says, “Kids are home, husband is home. We can spend some time with husband. That is the greatest thing for Diwali I can say.” Over the next five days, most businesses will be closed, leaving families free for elaborate preparations that are typical of the state. And what could be more quintessentially Gujarati than. “We will have mathia, chaura fali, farsi puri, kachori, sweets today,” says Patel. True to tradition, the cuisine is lovingly made at home. And the family spends time decorating the house with toran - garlands made of flowers and asopalav leaves. But the mood isn't entirely sobre in the Patel household. New Year means a time to celebrate, especially for the younger Patels.