Gudi Padwa( Maharshtrians New Year)-About Gudi Padwa-Gudi Padwa Celebration-Gudi Padwa Significance

About Gudi Padwa

Gudi Padwa is celebrated during Chaitra Sukla Paksha Padyami or First day of the waxing phase of the moon in the month of Chaitra as per lunar calendar.Gudi Padwa marks the beginning o New Year in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and some parts of Karnataka.This festival is known as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra and Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.In West Bengal, it is known as Nobo-Borsho while in Assam it is called Bihu.It has become a custom to hold Kavi Sammelans(Poetry recitals) on this day.Gudi Padwa is considerd one of the four most auspicious days in the year when people start new ventures.It is belived that Lord Brahma, created the world on this day and which is why he is worshipped, specially, at this time.Lord Vishnu too is said to have incarnated as Matsya, the fish, on this day.This day also Lord Julelal's birthday known as 'Cheti Chand'.

A gudi(banner) with a swastika-marked metal pot and silk cloth is raised to announce victory and joy.It is reminiscent of the valiant marathas returning home from their successful expeditions or war.People prepare for the New Year by cleaning and  wahing their houses and buying new clothes.On the festival day they decorate teir houses with mango leaves and 'rangoli' designs, and pray for a prosperous new year, by visiting the temples to listen to the yearly calander 'PANCHANGASRAVANAM' as  priests make predictions for the coming year.In Maharashtra , it is reminiscent of the valiant Marathas returning home from their successful expeditions of war.They honour their favourite leader, Chatraati Shivaji Maharaj.There are special foods prepared for this festival.In the southern states, 'puligore-a sour tamarind rice dish, 'bobbatlu' , 'holige'- sweet stuffed bread and Ugadu Pachadu made of jagerry, raw mango pieces, neem flowers and tamarind is prepared.In Maharashtra 'shrikhand', a fragrant yogurt sweet dish.Poori a fried puffy bread is prepared.

Gudi Padwa Celebration

Gudi Padwa is the start of new year for Maharshtrians. It is celebrated with lot of joy. On Gudi Padwa, a Gudi is a common sight in the house holds of Maharashtra.Here is how Gudi Padwa preparations are done every year for welcoming the New Year. 

Cleaning the House
To welcome New Year people clean their houses. People also change the curtains of house and decorate the house. In fact people wait till the occasion of Gudi Padwa if they want to do renovation of their house, paint the house, and get new flooring for the house etc. Therefore, just like Diwali, people clean their houses for welcoming New Year and welcoming prosperity in house. 

Shopping is the most important aspect of this festival. People do lot of shopping on the occasion of Gudi Padwa. People buy gold and silver ornaments, gold coins, new clothes, and consumer durable products like TV, fridge, microwave and new vehicles on the auspicious day of Gudi Padwa. People also buy new house on the occasion of Gudi Padwa as it is considered as one of the three auspicious occasions for buying new things. The frequency of people shopping increases during this festival and as such there are lots of shopping offers available during this time. 

Decorating the Main Door
On the occasion of Gudi Padwa, main door is decorated with garlands and traditional items like toran. Toran is considered as an auspicious item with which door is decorated on the auspicious occasions like Gudi Padwa or Diwali. Colourful rangoli design is also drawn in front of main door to welcome New Year, wealth and prosperity on the occasion of Gudi Padwa.
Installing Gudi
On the day of Gudi Padwa, each and every family member gets up early in the morning. All of them get dressed up in new and traditional dresses. All family members gather together for installing Gudi in front of the main gate. Gudi is prepared by taking a long stick, a nice cloth which is mainly red, green, yellow or pink in colour and a traditional Kalash. The colourful cloth is placed on stick in such a way that it appears like a flag. Kalash is placed inverted on the flag. After the preparation of basic Gudi, garlands, haldi-kumkum, rice etc; is offered to the Gudi and it is installed in front of the main gate. Once it is installed, rangoli is drawn at the foot of Gudi. 

Worshiping Gudi
After the Gudi is installed all family members worship the Gudi. According to Hindu mythology, worshipping Gudi brings lot of wealth, prosperity and happiness into the house and also gives good health. Hindu families also visit temples to worship Gods and Goddesses on the occasion of Gudi Padwa. 

Gudi Padwa Feast
There is Gudi Padwa feast at each and every Hindu's house. Lots of delicious food items are prepared like halwa, puri, shrikhand, mithai on this day. People also buy ready made sweets on this day. People do invite each other for the feast on the occasion of Gudi Padwa. At the same time each and every family member is present for have Gudi Padwa feast together.

In this way Gudi Padwa is celebrated throughout Maharashtra. Lot of ceremonies like house warming ceremonies, puja ceremonies, inauguration of new shops etc; are conducted on the auspicious day of Gudi Padwa. People gather together, organise various events like dance competitions, processions, traditional games on the occasion of Gudi Padwa. People greet each other and exchange sweets on the occasion of Gudi Padwa and welcome New Year together. 

Gudi Padwa  Significance

Each festival or occasion has its own significance. The rituals, you maintain in these festivals all denote to something special. Gudi Padwa is no exception to that. There is an underlying significance of the Gudi Padwa festival that you need to know. While celebrating Gudi Padwa, the Marathas welcome the New Year with all prosperity and happiness. They pray to the Lord for a successful New Year. If this is the most vital importance of the Gudi Padwa festival, then there are some more that are as listed. So, this year, while celebrating, you should know the significance of the Gudi Padwa festival. It will certainly add more fun to your celebration.Gudi is the symbol of 'Dharmadhwaj’. Every Marathi household keeps a bamboo stick and a pot at the head of the bamboo. The stick is the spine of human while the pot is the head. The 'Dharmadhwaj’ is worshipped to bring prosperity in the family.

Another importance of Gudi Padwa festival is that it is believed that Lord Ram returned to his kingdom on this day with his wife Sita, by defeating the demon king Raavana. So, this day is celebrated for a new beginning and justice.

Agricultural Significance: It is believed that the festival also symbolises the arrival of the agricultural season. For sowing and reaping crops, this is the best time. Gudi Padwa signifies the end of one harvest season and the beginning of a new one.

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