Gudi Padwa is the festival which is celebrated to mark the New Year according to Hindu calendar. It is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra month as Hindu New Year. There are different name for this festival in different states. It is celebrated by the name Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, also known as Yugadi in the states of Karnataka. In Sindhi community, it is called ‘Cheti Chand’, ‘Navreh’ in Kashmir and ‘Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba’ in Manipur. Gudi Padwa 2017 would be celebrated on March 29th across Maharashtra and rest of the country.
The significance of the Festival:
The festival is celebrated signifying various turn of events in the history and in the natural environment around us. For some, the significance of the festival lies in the victory of bad over evil, as to say, the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, with an alliance with the army of Lord Hanuman. The bright yellow flag wrapped to the Gudi signifies victory and is an ultimate sign of faith.
The day is also believed to be the anniversary of the day Lord Brahma recreated the world after a devastating flood and the time began to tick from that day. It is believed that the era of justice and truth, called satyug, started on this day. Dedicated to the worship of Lord Brahma, a special flag known as Brahmadhwaj is hoisted in honor of Lord Brahma. For Maharashtrians, it is a reminder of the valor of their great and just king, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the warrior king who rode the battle of Marathas to defeat Mughals. It is also celebrated as the onset of spring with a lot of importance given to the first fresh green leaves of the Mango tree. Also, red and yellow flowers are meant to be the symbols of fertility and health.
The day is also believed to be auspicious for opening new businesses and to do ‘Vaastu pooja’. It is an auspicious time or new beginnings, and it is the day to buy or do something big planned.
How Gudi Padwa is celebrated:
On this auspicious day, the houses are cleaned and washed properly and many specialty food items are cooked by women. People also make rangoli (designs made on the floor using colored sand/ powder) inside and outside their homes, they also tie torans of raw mango leaves on the doors of their homes. One of the important food items that are prepared is a paste of neem leaves and jaggery. It symbolizes that everything that is good need not to be sweet and all things bitter should be taken as best as we can! Women also make pooran poli and Shrikhand on this day. The people dress up in new clothes and arrange for family gatherings to offer Gudi Padwa wishes to their family and friends. Women would drape their nine meters long ‘Nauveri’ sarees. One can search for Gudi Padwa images to see the grandeur of the festival and the ways it is celebrated in.