Gudi Padwa is the new year celebration for the people of Maharashtra. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm over the whole of Konkan coast area. It is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month according to the Hindu calendar. Gudi Padwa also marks the beginning of the Chaitra Navratri.
The term 'Gudi' refers to a staff which is decorated and hoisted on this day. 'Padwa' means first day of the lunar month or Pratipada.
A Gudi is a stick which is decorated with colourful cloth which is draped over 'gathi' (sugar crystals), neem leaves, mango leaves and a garland of red flowers. A silver or copper pot is placed on top of this stick in the inverted position. This Gudi is worshipped and then placed at the right side of the entrance to the house. It is believed that the Gudi brings good luck to the house and cleanses all the evil and negative energies.
Gudi Padwa marks the beginning of the new year, onset of Spring and start of the harvesting season. Take a look at the significance of Gudi Padwa.
On the day of Gudi Padwa, people wake up early in the morning and clean their homes. They decorate the entrance of their houses with beautiful Rangoli designs. Then the Gudi is worshipped within 5-10 minutes of the sunrise.
After worshipping the Gudi, prasad made of neem leaf paste, tamarind, ajwain, pulses and jaggery is distributed. The neem leaf forms the most important part of the festival as it is a powerful antiseptic and builds immunity against diseases.
Significance Of Gudi Padwa
There are many legends and stories associated with Gudi Padwa. Some believe that Lord Brahma started the process of creation on the auspicious day of Gudi Padwa. Some other legends also state that King Bali was defeated by Lord Ram on this day.
Whatever is the story behind it, Gudi Padwa is a time of celebration. People wear new clothes and start new ventures on this day. People wear new clothes and pray for the well being of their family. The festival ushers in the refreshing season of Spring and marks the onset of harvesting season.
Thus, Gudi Padwa is an important festival for the people of Maharashtra.