How to celebrate, importance, and more
Gudi Padwa is a Hindu festival which is celebrated in the state of Maharashtra. It marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. The festival is celebrated on the first day of the month of Chaitra as per the Hindu calendar. Usually, Gudi Padwa falls in the month of March or April. This year, Gudi Padwa will be celebrated on Saturday, 6 April 2019. Another name for the festival of Gudi Padwa is ‘Chaitra Shukla Pratipada’. People buy gold, vehicles, electronic devices, and more on this day as it is considered to be auspicious. The festival is also believed to bring prosperity.
What is the history of Gudi Padwa?
Beginning of harvest Season:
Since Maharashtra is an agriculture-rich state, this festival marks the beginning of the harvest season. It is also officially the start of the spring (Vasant) season. On this auspicious day, farmers plough their lands as a symbol to ensure that they have a good harvest year.
The festival also has a mythological relevance. It symbolises Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana and celebrates the triumph of good over evil. It is believed that on this day, Lord Rama had returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. The festival is said to be celebrated to mark the coronation of Lord Rama as the king of Ayodhya.
Some people also believe that Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj celebrated his new victory over this territory by hoisting his flag on this day, thus marking the beginning of Gudi Padwa.
Celebrating Gudi Padwa:
Maharashtrians celebrate the festival of Gudi Padwa by getting up early and wearing festive attires. Women wear beautiful sarees while men adorn traditional kurta-pajama. They clean their house and draw rangoli either of color or made from flowers in front of the house. Next, they prepare a “gudi” that is believed to keep evil away and bring prosperity and good luck inside the house.
The gudi is basically a wooden (bamboo) stick that has a kalash (pot) on the top. The kalash can be made of either silver or copper and is placed inversely on top of the stick. A swastika made of red kumkum is drawn on the kalash. The gudi is also decorated with a garland made of marigold flowers, a silk cloth, and mango as well as neem leaves. Once, the gudi is ready, it is kept at the entrance of the house or outside of the window in your house.
Special food and delicacies:
Just like any other festival, food plays an important role in the celebration of Gudi Padwa. Maharashtrians enjoy the festival by preparing traditional festive cuisines such as shrikhand, puri, potato curry, and puran poli.
Celebrations across Maharashtra:
The celebration of Gudi Padva is taken a level up in Mumbai as people come out on the streets in traditional attire and participate in processions. Women wear the traditional nine-yard saree (nauvari) while men wear kurta with a pheta on their head. They will play “dhol and tasha” and perform the traditional lezim dance on the streets which will be decorated with colourful rangolis.
While Gudi Padwa is celebrated in Maharashtra, Ugadi is celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana. Meanwhile, the festival of Bihu is celebrated in Assam and Poila Baisakh in West Bengal. They all mark the beginning of the new year in different regions of the country. The only difference between the festivals is the way people in different state celebrate their festival.