Gudi Padwa, Maharashtra
Gudi Padwa is the Maharashtrian New Year, which starts on the first day of Navratri in the month of Chaitra according to the lunar calendar. Not only the Marathi comunity in India but also the people in other Indian states kickstart the Hindu new year by observing special rites on this day. Like every Indian festival, Gudi Padwa is incomplete without a delicious spread of traditional snacks. On this day, worship of Goddess Durga begins for a period of nine nights and culminates with the Rama Navami celebrations.
Gudi Padwa, the Maharashtrian new year, signifies the welcoming of spring. During this time, Rabi crops, which have reaped, are ready for the harvest festival marks this significant development for the farmers.
Historically, the Gudi symbolizes Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana and the happiness and celebrations that followed. Since a symbol of victory is always held high, so is the gudi (flag). The festival commemorates the coronation of Rama post his return to Ayodhya after completing 14 years of exile.
It also signifies the Brahmadhvaj, as mentioned in the Brahma Purana because it is believed that Lord Brahma created the universe on this day. Gudi is also believed to bring prosperity and good luck into a household besides warding off evil.
On Gudi Padwa, street processions are held. Maharashtrians wear new clothes, dance, prepare festive foods like Sakkar Bhaat (sweet rice), Shrikhand and Puri, and Puran Poli, A Gudi is hoisted and the festival is celebrated with friends and family. Traditionally, families prepare a special dish that mixes various flavors, particularly leaves of neem tree and jaggery.
Date: April 6, 2019