Vagh Baras is a festival to worship cows, as cow plays a key role in human life for a long time. Vagh Baras is also known as Govatsa Dwadashi, Nandini Vrat, Wagh Baras, Vasu Baras and is celebrated on the 12th day of the Krishna Paksha of the Ashwini month. On Govatsa Dwadashi, devotees worship the divine cow and her calf. As per our scripture, there are 33 crores gods in a cow so she is also called Gaumata. People offer Moong, Gol, and Grass to the cow and her calf. The devotees believe that by doing Gau Pujan, all their sins will be washed away, similar to bathing in the river Ganga.

Legend, Importance, Celebration, Rituals, Dates of Vagh Baras, Vasu Baras, Govatsa Dwadashi

The Vagh Baras festival is celebrated with a great ceremony across India. Gujarati meaning of Vagh is to clear the financial debt on this day and close the accounting books on this day. Then from Labh Panchm accounting books reopen for New Year again. Also with accounting clearance, people wish to bring back all the wealth back to the house during this time. In Maharashtra this day is called “Vasu Baras”, Vasu means cow and celebrated as the first day of the Diwali and in other states, the Diwali celebration of five days starts from Dhanteras to Bhaibij.

Celebration: The cows are bathed and Kanku Tilak is applied on the head. These cows are dress in bright clothes and flowers. Devotees, who are unable to find a cow nearby, can prepare an idol from clay, which is then decorated with kumkum and turmeric. It has been recorded in scriptures that on this day Lord Shree Krishna had started going to farm with cow and friends. During this day, devotees offer prayers to Lord Shree Krishna, who had a deep love for cows. Ma Devi Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and on Vagh Baras Ma Devi Saraswati Pujan is also done by students and children. Women, on Govatsa Dwadashi, observe a fast for the wellbeing of their children. Diwali festival celebrations are in the main extends through 5 days, from Dhanteras to Bhaiduj. However, in Maharashtra and Gujarat, a day before Dhan Teras recognized as Vagh Baras marks the start of the Indian Diwali festival. In the Hindi language, Govatsa Go or Vasu means cow then vatsa means child of cow-calf.

Significance: As per the mythology, Vagh Baras details are mentioned in the Bhavishya Purana, where the story of the Nandini is written. We all consider the cow as the most sacred of animals and worshiped as a holy mother. On this day as part of the ritual people worship the cow and calf and this vrat is known as the Nandini Vrat. Also, it is widely believed that Shri Vallabha, the incarnation of Lord Dattatreya disappears in Krishna River on this day. Hence it is also celebrated as Guru Dwadashi in few places.

During Vasubaras, married women observe the Gau Pooja and Sri Krishna Puja get blessings from the Lord. This day is also known as Govatsa Dwadashi in many parts of India. The significance of Vasubaras is very interesting and scientific. During Diwali, there would be energies generated in the atmosphere and an increase in temperature and instability in the nature. Hence to prevent this, Vasubaras is a day to worship the Lord and asked to protect nature by the divine rays. It is believed that cows have the maximum capacity to absorb the divine rays of God.

People across India believe and recognized cow as GauMata and the Gau Pujan on this day as well the entire year is important to cherish our traditions and keep our culture preserved.

Vagh Baras, Vasu Baras, Govatsa Dwadashi Dates for 2019 to 2024

Year Date
2019 Friday, 25th of October
2020 Thursday, 12th of November
2021 Monday, 1st of November
2022 Friday, 21st of October
2023 Thursday, 9th of November
2024 Monday, 28th of October