Chaitra Shukla Pratipada
Gudi Padwa is the Marathi name for ‘Chaitra Shukla Pratipada’. It is the first day of the New Year according to the Hindu calendar. Gudi Padwa or Ugadi is celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and is considered as one of the four most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar. Many consider this day ideal for the purchase of ornaments, a house amongst other things.
Significance of Gudi Padwa
Gudi Padwa is celebrated for a number of reasons. It is believed that Lord Brahma created the world on this day and is therefore worshipped. It is also believed that the ‘Gudi’ (flag) is a symbol of Lord Rama’s victory over Ravan and his subsequent re-in statement to his post in Ayodhya after completing 14 years of Exile.
The people of Maharashtra also see the gudi as a symbol of victory associated with the conquests of the Maratha forces led by Chhatrapati Shivaji. Gudhi is believed to ward off evil, invite prosperity and good luck into the house.
India predominantly being an agrarian society, celebrations and festivals are often linked to the turn of the season and to the sowing and reaping of cops. This day also marks the end of one agricultural harvest and the beginning of a new one.
Gudi Padwa Celebrations
On Gudi Padwa, a gudi is found hanging out of a window or prominently displayed in Maharashtrian households. Gudi is a bright green or yellow cloth adorned with brocade tied to the tip of a long bamboo over which sugar, neem leaves, a twig of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers is tied. A silver or copper pot is placed in the inverted position over it. This gudi is then hoisted outside the house, in a window, terrace or a high place so that everybody can see it.
On this festive day, courtyards in village houses will be swept clean and plastered with fresh cow-dung. Even in cities, people take time out to do some spring cleaning.
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 are supposed to begin the festivities by eating the bittersweet leaves of the neem tree. Sometimes, a paste of neem leaves is prepared and mixed with jaggery, and tamarind. All the members of the family consume this paste, which is believed to purify the blood and strengthen the body’s immune system against diseases.
Maharashtrian families also make shrikhand and Poori on this day. Konkanis make Kanangachi Kheer, a variety of Kheer made of sweet potato, coconut milk, jaggery, rice flour, etc.
What is ‘Chaitra Shukla Pratipada’ ?
Find out about Ugadi and how it may be similar to Gudi Padwa.
Gudi Padwa marks the end of one agricultural harvest and the beginning of a new one. What kind of crops are harvested in the new season?
To know why do we celebrate Gudi Padwa, click here!