Gudi Padwa falls on the 1st day of the month of Chaitra, which is also known as the Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. Gudi Padwa marks the beginning of the New Year according to the Luni-solar Hindu calendar followed in India.
The day also declares the onset of the spring and is an extremely important harvest festival.
Gudi Padwa is the first day of Hindu New Year.
Gudi Padwa is known by numerous names across the country,
Samvatsar Padvo, Yugadi, Ugadi, Cheti Chand or and Navreh, Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was the person who started the Gudi Padwa celebrations after his victory.
Mythologically, this day celebrates the defeat of Ravana in the hands of Lord Rama and his eventual happy return to Ayodhya.
Gudi is the word used to refer to Brahma's flag (which is hoisted on this day) while Padva is derived from the Sanskrit word Paddava which refers to the first day of the bright phase of the moon.
It is a stick that is covered in a beautiful, bright cloth that has been topped with sugar crystals, neem leaves, twig of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers. This is covered by a silver or copper pot in an inverted position.
The festivity is celebrated by people engaging in spring cleaning and wearing new clothes. Families begin this day by eating bittersweet leaves of neem tree or a paste which is prepared with neem leaves, jaggery and tamarind. The paste is believed to purify blood and strengthen the body’s immune system.
The traditional Maharashtrain food on this day consists of Shrikhand and Puri and Puran Poli. The Konkanis make Kanangachi Kheer which is a sweet dish made of sweet potato, coconut milk, jaggery and rice.
Buying gold, new vehicle or anything new is considered to bring prosperity on this day.
Gudi Padwa is predominantly celebrated among the Maharashtrian folks, will usher in the New Year on 25th March 2020 (Wednesday). The festival has different names in other regions of the country. It is known as Ugadi in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Yugadi in Karnataka and Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba in Manipur.
According to the holy Hindu scripture, Bramha Purana, Lord Brahma created the universe on the day of Gudi Padwa and hence, the date is considered auspicious to bring in the new year.
The ‘Gudi’ is said to ward off the evil and bring in good luck and hope for the household.
They normally wrap the long bamboo pole in bright color clothes. Earlier a gold or silver kalash was tied to the pole but now people use kalash made of copper or other economical metals.
As is the custom, the gudi is hung at the entrance at sunrise and removed before the sundown.
Marathis offer a special puja of neem leaves, tamarind, jaggery, ajwain and gram pulses to the gudi.
Preparing elaborate meals are considered essential and you can taste some of the best traditional dishes during this time namely puran poli, soonth pak, shrikhand, and jalebis. Whereas, for the Konkanis, the festival is synonymous with dishes like kanangachi kheer, which is an Indian dessert made of sweet potato, coconut milk, jaggery and rice.
Gudi Padwa has a great cultural influence over Marathis and they take this opportunity to showcase their traditions and customs.
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