Celebrating Gudi Padwa: Here are 6 facts you must know about this festival
In the run up to the New Year celebrations of Gudi Padwa, we bring you some interesting facts about the New Year
The festival of Gudi Padwa is right around the corner and people from Maharashtra are gearing up to celebrate their New Year during this extended weekend, before a three-month drought of bank and public holidays. So if you are living in Mumbai, you can probably notice the palpable excitement.
The festival of Gudi Padwa really marks the first day of the Chaitra month according to the Hindu calendar, which means that it is the first day of spring. In fact, the Brahma Puran has often referred to this day as being the day that Lord Brahma recreated the entire world after it was hit by a massive deluge.
But there are many other interesting facts related to this festival. Let's take a look at them:
- Gudi Padwa has many names like Samvatsar Padvo, Yugadi, Cheti Chand and even Navreh. You may not know this, but this day is also celebrated in the North East state of Manipur and is called Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba. During the day people from Manipur prepare a variety of cuisines and towards the evening climb a nearby hillock.
- Since India is primarily an agrarian society, Gudi Padwa is one of the most famous harvesting festivals and marks the end of one season and the beginning of another. On this day, the sun's position is above the point of intersection of the equator and this leads to the beginning of the spring season.
- Mythologically, Gudi Padwa signifies the victory of Lord Ram over Ravan and his successive return to Ayodhya.
- Marathi warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was the first person who officially started to celebrate Gudi Padwa after his victory. In fact, the tradition of raising the 'Gudi' was first started by him and was followed suit by most homes.
- The celebrations begin by raising the 'Gudi' at the entrance of a Maharashtrian home. A 'Gudi' is a stick covered in a bright-coloured cloth, which is adorned with brocade and is topped with sugar crystals, neem leaves, some twigs of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers. All of this covered by an inverted copper pot.
- During the festivities, similar to Diwali, people spring clean the house and wear new clothes. Families begin this day by eating bitersweet neem leaves or a paste of these leaves, tamarind and jaggery.
Auspicious timing of Gudi Padwa
This year, Gudi Padwa falls on April 8, a Friday. Usually the auspicious timings of the festival that are observed for prayers begins a day before. So the Pratipada Tithi begins at 4.53 pm on Thursday, April 7, and ends at 1.05 pm on, April 8.
Key rituals associated with Gudi Padwa
- The holy bath: On this day, families begin the rituals by taking a holy bath and wear new clothes. This is meant to cleanse the body and soul and prepare them for a new beginning.
- Traditional rangoli: Women in the house prepare a traditional rangoli using rice, vermillion and turmeric. Some people also use flowers and colours instead of the traditional food items.
- Raising the 'Gudi': Once the house is decorated with flowers and lights, families raise the 'Gudi,' which is made of a copper kalash and is hoisted upside down at the entrance of the house. It is placed at a place that is visible from afar and is a sign of prosperity.
- Preparing the prasad: Unlike other festivals, Gudi Padwa is one festival that requires the preparation of a sweet that is a mixture of neem leaves and jaggery. It is synonym with a bitersweet life filled with happiness and sorrows.
The Indusparent wishes all its readers a very happy and prosperous New year!
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