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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Gudi Padwa | Festivals of India Series

Gudi Padwa 

Gudi Padwa is one of the most popular festival in Maharashtra because it marks the New year and the harvest season of Maharashtrians and Konkanis. This festival is celebrated on the first day of the month of Chaitra as per Hindu Calendar which usually falls during the month of March -April according to Georgian Calendar.

Gudi means flag, erect flag on the houses as part of celebration in Maharashtra where its mainly celebrated. The word pāḍavā is derived from the Sanskrit word pratipad for the first day of each fortnight in a lunar month i.e. the first day on which the moon appears after the so-called "new moon" day (amāvāsya) and the first day after the full moon. A Gudhi is also hoisted on this occasion giving this festival its name. The term padva or padavo is also associated with balipratipad the third day of Diwali which is another celebration that comes at the end of the harvesting season. (Source Wikipedia) 

Gudi and Shivaji connection

Legends and Beliefs
Chhatrapati Shivaji legend:
It is believed that Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj after defeating the Moghuls attained freedom for the Kingdom."Gudi" here became the mark of Triumph, victory and prosperity.

Brahma Puran legend.
Brahma puran, a sacred scripture mentions that on this day lord Bhrama created the new world,after the severe flood in which everything got destroyed and time got stopped. According to the text, On Gudi Padwa day lord Brahma restarted the time, Infact a new era began, an era of truth and justice. 

It is commonly believed that if a household puts up a Gudi at his house it helps in warding of evil influences and brings good luck.

How to make Gudi:
To make a Gudi one needs to have a bright colour green or yellow silk cloth laced with zari which is then tied to a long Bamboo stick and on top of this neem leaves, Gathi(a Maharashtrian sweet preparation), a garland of red or yellow flowers and a twig with mango leaves are also tied. This stick with the various ornaments is topped off with an inverted silver or copper pot.  The Gudi is placed either at the gate or outside the window.

Celebrating Gudi Padva:
On the Gudi Padwa day they get up early and bathe in  special oil and aromatics, for the Maharashtrian folks Gudi Padva  is celebrated as new year hence to celebrate it, they clean and decorate their house. Many people put lovely Rangolis in front of their house and around the Gudi. The vibrant colours of Rangolis enhance the splendour of the festival and add the festive colours of life to it.
Traditionally, families are supposed to begin the festivities by eating the bitter leaves of the neem tree. Usually, a paste of neem leaves is prepared and mixed with coriander seeds, 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. There is also a belief behind this tradition that if you start a new year with a bitter taste, the year ahead brings you happiness and sweet success.
Women in Nauvari Sarees dancing

Women folk of the house are often drapped in a New Nauvari saree (Traditional Maharashtrian way of draping Saree) and are decked with lavish gold ornaments.

Lavish Gold ornaments
Men folks also wear new Kurta Pajama or some traditional wear. In villages we seen people putting on saffron turban. However with the passing time dressing forms have changed a bit but yet we happen to see lots of tradition dressings in today's times too.

Men in traditional attire of turban and Kurta

Special dishes of Food are prepared like Shrikand Puri or Pooran Poris. 
Recent Trends:

Recently we see lots of Shobha yatra or rallies are taken out during the early morning of the Gudi Padwa. This is a new emerging trend whereby Dances are performed, Ladies and Men drive Motorcycles donning traditional dresses.
I am sharing few pictures of the Shobha Yatra so enjoy.

Motorcycle Rallies
women dressed up in tradition attire and gold ornaments.
Even Kids join in the gaiety 
Music on drums is another important essence
Time to flaunt 
The smile says it all
Thank you for reading the blog. Next time when you are in Maharashtra and Mumbai in particular, please join us in the celebration.

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