Gudi Padwa is the main festival of Maharashtrians. Gudi Padwa is the Marati term that replicates the concept of Chaitra Shukla Pratipada or the first days of the Chaitra month (March – April) which also marks the New Year as per the lunisolar Hindu calendar. The term Padva comes from the Sanskrit term Paddavo meaning the first day of the waxing phase of the lunar month. This auspicious festival marks the New Year for all Maharashtrians and Hindu Konkanis and is widely celebrated in India. Gudi Padwa falls on 18th March 2018.
On this day, devotees take a wooden stick and cover it with a piece of red or yellow coloured cloth. Later on, they place a Kalash which is made up of copper, silver or bronze over the stick, called as ‘Gudi’. They place this Gudi outside their door and hoist it at a height. Neem leaves is also hung along with Gudi at the door and people relish the sugar candy, called saakhar gaathi.
There are several stories also that are attached with this festival. On of them is “theory of creation”. It is also marked as the day when Lord Ram after defeating King Ravana in Lanka, returned to Ayodhya. As per belief, the long ‘Gudi’ symbolises victory and inspires people to prosper materially and spiritually. One of the important food item on this festival is a paste of neem and jaggery. Ladies wake up early morning and draw intricate patterns with rangoli powder, diyas and flowers in front of their homes, in their gardens and courtyards. They wear new clothes and enjoy family gatherings. During the evening of Gudi Padwa, a Lezim (a traditional Maharashtrian folk dance) is also performed.
Mouthwatering dishes like Puran Poli, Shrikhand, Aam Panha (refreshing mango drink), Gulab Jamun and the dough for Puri are prepaid. Maharashtrian families also make the traditional dish of shrikhand – poori for the celebration of Gudi Padwa. Apart from this, the sweet dish called Puran poli is also a common delicacy for Gudi Padwa. The day is also believed to be auspicious for ‘vaastu puja’ and opening new business establishments. On this day, several processions are also taken out.
This day has great significance as it is believed that Lord Brahma created the Universe. Every year this day marks an importance in the heart of people. Many events and gatherings will take place on this day. This day makes people forget their mistakes and people forgive other.