Gudi Padwa- Marathi New Year

Gudi Padwa 2014 Date

Monday 31 March

Gudi Padwa GreetingsGudi Padwa is one of the major festivals of west india celebrated in Maharashtra. Gudipadva is the new year day celebrated by Marathi community on the first day of the Chaitra month of Hindu Calender. This day corresponds to a day either in the end of March or in Early April of the English Calender.

The Gudi and Its Raising

The Marathi families, on the day of Gudi Padwa, raise a “Gudi” at a prominent place, particularly at the right side of the entrance of their home. This Gudi is a bamboo pole and certain auspicious things tied around its top like a flag. These things include a bright green or yellow piece of silk cloth, a metal pot ( kalash), mango leaves, and marigold flowers. Gudi is erected on a clean ground and is slightly tilted at an angle givingimpression of a colorful flag.

Importance of Gudi Padwa Festival

Gudi PadwaThere are many beliefs related to Gudi Padwa that explain the significance of this festival of Maharashtrian community.

  • Gudhi (the bamboo pole with upturned metal pot, cloth, flowers, leaves etc.) symbolizes the Brahmadhvaj or Lord Brahma’s flag which gets mention in the ‘Brahma Purana’- the mythological writings of Hindu religion. It is believed that Lord Brahma created the universe on this day of Chaitra when Gudi Padwa is celebrated
  • Many people believe that the Gudhi symbolizes Lord Rama’s victory and Gudi Padwa had been celebrated since Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after completing 14 years in exile. Ram Navami is celebrated on Chaitra Navami (the ninth day of Chaitra month) but it celebrates the birthday of Lord Rama.
  • The Marathi community also see the “Gudhi” as a symbol of victory related to the conquests of the Maratha forces being led by Chhatrapati Shivaji.
  • Gudi symbolizes the victory of King Shalivahana who won the battle with Sakas. It is believed that the gudi was hoisted by his people when he returned to Paithan.

One of the importance of the Gudi lies in the belief that it wards off evil and brings prosperity and good luck into the home where it is hoisted. The Gudhi is placed on the right side of the main entrance of the house from where it can be seen distinctly. The right side is selected because this side symbolizes an active soul.

Gudi Padwa Celebration

Apart from Hanging Gudi outside their houses, Marathi community celebrate the day with great fervor. All the Maharashtrians clean their houses before the Gudi Padwa festival. They draw colourful rangoli with intricate designs both at entrances and in the court yard of their houses. Everyone wear new clothes. Gudi Padwa is also believed to be one of the very auspicious days of the year. People start new ventures and buy gold and silver jewelries on this day. House-warming pooja (worships) are also preferred to be performed on the day of Gudi Padwa

Gudi Padwa Rangoli

Family gatherings are organized on the Gudi Padwa day and Marathi are prepared for everyone. These include puran poli, soonth pak and usal etc.There is also a tradition of having bittersweet neem leaves right in the morning by every member of the house. This is prepared by crushing neem leaves and cumin seeds and then mixing it with jaggery and salt. This is taken as the first thing in the morning before eating any other food.

Ugadi or Yugadi is the another festival of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataks which is celebrated on the same day as Gudi Padwa is celebrated in Maharashtra.

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