Gudi Padwa – the Maharashtrian New Year will be celebrated on March 28, 2017, with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. This festival falls in the month of Chaitra and marks the beginning of Vasant (spring season). The significance of this festival takes us back to the time when King Shalivahana fought against the Sakas and celebrated their victory by hoisting a gudi which was a cloth, flown like a flag over a long pole. But it was Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who first celebrated the festival, symbolizing their victory march which is also known as ‘Vijay Dhwaj’. Since then people started following this practice and decorating a Gudi. Gudi Padwa festival signifies the beginning of the New Year and good luck. There are various myths about Gudi Padwa festival, and it is believed that Lord Brahma destroyed the entire world and recreated this beautiful world.
Gudi Padwa is also known as Ugadi in the Indian state of Karnataka, and this festival is a visual treat. The same festival is termed as Sanvsar Padvo by the Konkanis. People even say that Gudi Padwa is the best day to start any new activity as it is considered quite auspicious. People start cleaning their homes and purchase new clothes. On the day of Gudi Padwa, they draw colorful rangolis at the entrance of the door and even put a toran which marks the beginning of spring season.
Following the decoration of gudi, people perform a puja at home and seek Lord’s blessings. Food plays an important role in any festival. On the day of Gudi Padwa, people also prepare lip-smacking delicacies like Puran Poli, Poori-Shrikhand, and traditionally have Neem leaves with jaggery. It is said that on this particular occasion, tasting bitter and sweet food together teaches an individual that there are happy and sad days in life.
Traditionally, a gudi is a bamboo stick that is covered with a yellow or red cloth. Neem leaves and red flowers are put on it, and the Gudi is placed outside the home or rested on a window of the house. The Gudi must be covered with an inverted copper or silver utensil. We wish you a Happy Gudi Padwa and pray that this festival brings peace and happiness to your life! Happy Gudi Padwa 2017!