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Maharashtra Gudi Padwa Festival

About

In India, 01st day of the bright phase of the moon is called Gudhi Padwa in Marathi.It’s spring-time festival that marks the traditional new year for Marathi and Konkani Hindus. It celebrated in and near Maharashtra and Goa on the first day of the Chaitra month to mark the beginning of the New year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar. The word पाडवा (pāḍavā) or पाडवो (pāḍavo) or पाड्ड्वा/पाड्ड्वो (pāḍḍvā/pāḍḍvo) comes from the Sanskrit word प्रतिपदा (pratipadā), which refers to the first day of a lunar fortnight. The festival is observed with colorful floor decorations called rangoli, a special Gudhi flag (garlanded with flowers, mango and neem leaves, topped with upturned silver or copper vessel), street processions, dancing and festive foods. In 2021 the date is 13th April.

Importance of GudiPadwa Festival

Gudhi Padva signifies the arrival of spring and to the reaping of Rabi crops. This festival linked to the mythical day on which Hindu god Brahma created time and universe. To some, it commemorates the coronation of Rama in Ayodhya after his victory over evil Ravana, or alternatively the start of Shalivahan calendar after he defeated the Huns invasion in the 1st century. According to Anne Feldhaus, in rural Maharashtra the festival is linked to Shiva’s dance and coming together of the community as they carry the Gudhi Kavads together to a Shiva temple.

History

According to Hindu mythology, it is said that Lord Brahma had created the universe on the day of Gudi Padwa. It is also said that on this day Brahma introduced days, weeks, months and years. Ugadi is considered to be the first day of the creation of the universe and it is because of this reason, Lord Brahma is being worshipped on Gudi Padwa. It is also called samvatsar padvo.

How to Celebrate GudiPadwa?

Answer: On this festive day the village houses will swept clean and plastered with fresh cow-dung. The Women and children work on intricate rangoli designs on their doorsteps, the vibrant colours mirroring the burst of colour associated with spring. Everyone dresses up in new clothes and it is a time for family gatherings.Traditionally, families prepare a special dish that mixes various flavors, particularly the bitter leaves of the neem tree and sweet jaggery (gur, gul). Additional ingredients include sour tamarind and astringent dhane seeds. This, like the pacchadi recipe used in Ugadi festival, is eaten as a reminder of life’s sweet and bitter experiences, as well as a belief that the neem-based mixture has health benefits. Maharashtrian families also make many other festive dishes, such as shrikhand and Poori or Puran Poli on this day. 

Best Wishes of Gudipadwa To All.

Thanks & Regards,

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