Gudi Padwa is the beginning of the New Year and the harvest season for the people of Maharashtra. Gudi is the word used to refer to Brahma’s flag and Padva is derived from the Sanskrit word Paddava which refers to the first day of the bright phase of the moon. This festival is celebrated on the first day of the month of Chaitra, which usually falls during March-April.
Besides Maharashtra, it is also observed under different names in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu as well.On Gudi Padva, time restarted and from this day on, the era of truth and justice began. Therefore, Lord Brahma is worshipped on this day.
For the people of Mahrashtra, there is an added significance to this festival. It is believed that Chhattrapati Shivaji Maharaj, celebrated leader of the Maratha clan, led the troops to victory and attained freedom for the kingdom from the dominion of the Mughals in that area. The Gudi then is a symbol of victory and prosperity. It is believed that hoisting the Gudi outside ones home wards off any evil influences, making way for good luck and prosperity.
The Gudi is made by purchasing a bright green or yellow silken cloth with a zari brocade on it and tying it on to a long bamboo stick. On top of the cloth then, neem leaves, gathi , a garland of red or yellow flowers and a twig with mango leaves are also tied. This stick with the various ornaments is topped off with an inverted silver or copper pot. The Gudi is placed either at the gate or outside the window.
Since Gudi Padva marks the beginning of spring and the Maharashtrian New Year a thorough cleaning of the entire house as well as the courtyards is a must. Post this, they bathe in special oils and aromatics. The women and girls in the house prepare an extensive and elaborate Rangoli at the doorstep of their house as well as the area where the Gudi is to be erected.
All celebrants dress up in their best clothes for this occasion. In fact, new garments are purchased specially for the occasion of Gudi Padwa.
Special food is prepared on this day including a sweet known as Shrikhand that is consumed with a type of Indian bread known as Poori. Other special dishes include Pooran Poli also known as sweet Indian flatbread, Soonth Panak and Chana.
Gudi Padwa is a festival celebrated with much fervor in the Western and Southern India and some parts of East India as well. It is known as Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh, Yugadi in Karnataka, Bihu in Assam and Poila Baisakh in West Bengal. Other communities such as the Konkanis and Sindhis observe it under the names Sanvsar Padvo and Cheti Chand, respectively.
There are certain customs too that are commonly observed such as the consumption of Neem leaves in the form of a paste in a jiggery preparation. This is specially done in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Since the main celebration of Gudi Padwa takes place in Maharashtra, the attire worn by the celebrants, especially women is very traditional to the region. The Nauvari sarees usually have embellishments in gold on the border while the rest of the saree is plain. This ensemble is accessorized with a garland of mogra flowers in the hair, which is tied in a bun, along with an elaborate Gold Nath. Many also tie a turban around their heads in saffron colored cotton cloth.
It is also a day where women are seen flooding the streets across the state. Dressed in traditional attire, women actively participate in the festival that celebrates region's rich culture and history.
RMElegance wishes you all a very Happy New Year !!!