Gudi Padwa

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 06/04/2020
12:00 am - 11:59 pm

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Gudhi Padva (Marathi: गुढी पाडवा Guḍhī Pāḍavā; Telugu ఉగాది Ugadi; Kannada: ಯುಗಾದಿ Yugadi) is derived from the Sanskrit name for Chaitra Shukla Pratipad.

It is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month to mark the beginning of the New year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar.

The word पाडवा(pāḍavā) or पाडवो(pāḍavo) or पड्ड्वा/पाड्ड्वो(pāḍḍavā/pāḍḍavo) comes from the Sanskrit word प्रतिपद or प्रतिपदा (pratipadā) in Sanskrit, which refers to the first day of a lunar fortnight.

Historical

This day also commemorates the commencement of the Shaka calendar after [Gautamiputra Satakarni], also known as defeated sakas in battle in 78 A.D.

Religious

According to the Brahma Purana, this is the day on which Brahma created the world after the deluge and time began to tick from this day forth.

Seasonal

On this day, the sun assumes a position above the point of intersection of the equator and the meridians. According to the Hindu calendar, this marks the commencement of the Vasanta ritu or the spring season.

The Guḍhī

On Guḍhī Pāḍavā, a gudhi is found sticking out of a window or otherwise prominently displayed in traditional Maharashtrian households. Bright green or yellow cloth adorned with brocade (zari) tied to the tip of a long bamboo over which gaathi (sugar crystals), neem leaves and 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. Altogether, it is called as Gudhi. It is hoisted outside the house, in a window, terrace or a high place so that everybody can see it.

Some of the significances attributed to raising a Gudhi are as follows:

It symbolizes the victory of King Shalivahana over Sakas and was hoisted by his people when he returned to Paithan.
Gudhi symbolizes the Brahmadhvaj (translation: Brahma’s flag) mentioned in the Brahma Purana, because Lord Brahma created the universe on this day. It may also represent Indradhvaj (translation: the flag of Indra).
Historically, the Gudhi symbolizes Lord Rama’s victory and happiness on returning to Ayodhya after slaying Ravana. Since a symbol of victory is always held high, so is the gudhi (flag). It is believed that this festival is celebrated to commemorate the coronation of Rama post his return to Ayodhya after completing 14 years of exile. So, people celebrated victory of lord Rama every year by raising Gudi. Gudi is symbol of victory of lord Rama
Gudhi is believed to ward off evil, invite prosperity and good luck into the house.

 

The Gudhi is positioned on the right side of the main entrance of the house. The right side symbolizes active state of the soul.

Festivities

On the festive day, courtyards in village houses will be swept clean and plastered with fresh cow-dung. Even in the city, people take the 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 dhane(coriander seeds), gul/gur (known as jaggery in English), 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 or Puran Poli on this day. Konkanis make Kanangachi Kheer, a variety of Kheer made of sweet potato, coconut milk, jaggery, rice flour, etc. and Sanna.

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