Hindu New Year is celebrated according to the Hindu Lunar Calendar- Panchanga. Hindu New Year is popularly known as 'Vikram Samvat' or 'Bikrami Samvat'. Current era of Vikram Samvat began in 57 BC. The New Year begins with the first day of Kartik Month, that is, on the festival of lights, Deepawali. This year it falls on 14th November, 2012.
The story behind the origin of Hindu New Year is related to the legendary Hindu King Vikramaditya. Once King Gardabhilla, a ruler in 12th century CE seized a nun named Saraswati.She was the sister of the famous Jain monk Kalakacharya.
The feeble monk hunted help of the Saka ruler in Sakasthana to conquer Gardabhilla. He was defeated and enthralled by the Saka King. Though he was released later on but Gardabhilla go off to the forest where he was killed by a tiger. When his son, Vikramaditya grew up he invaded Ujjain and thrust out the Sakas. Thus, to celebrate this event, he observed a new epoch called Vikram Samvat.
People light oil lamps. They decorate the house with pink, red, purple or yellow fresh flowers which are considered auspicious colours. Rangoli design is also made on the floor outside the house, it is indeed very attractive part of New Year decorations. People get up early in the morning, take bath and wear new clothes. The Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi and lord Ganesha are brought home and people welcome them by singing songs in their praise.
Hindu New Year is celebrated with gaiety and pomp throughout India. Though the vim and vigour of the festival is seen everywhere but it more verve in the people of North India and Gujarat. New Year in Southern India also emphasizes the Hindu New Year