Register | Login
Login
Sign in with:
---------- OR ----------
Create Account | Login
Create account
As a Member You Can:
  • Join clubs to discuss your interests
  • Connect with people like you
  • Share information, seek advice, get support

   
parenting
in Mumbai (change city)
Select City
  • All
  • Delhi
  • New Delhi
  • Gurgaon
  • Noida
  • Mumbai
  • Pune
  • Banglore
  • Hyderabad
  • Ghaziabad
  • Chandigarh
  • Ahmedabad
  • Kolkata
  • Chennai
  • Coimbatore
  • Jaipur
select‌ stage
Indian Culture Topics..

You are here : home > Indian Culture > Indian Festivals and occassions > Gudi Padwa

Gudi Padwa

Gudi Padwa

Gudi Padwa

Gudi Padwa is considered as an auspicious occasion to buy ornaments, house and other new things. It is regarded as a beginning of New Year by Maharashtrians. Read on to know about its significance.


Ignorance isn't always bliss

"My neighbours are Maharashtrians and every year on Gudi Padwa they bring sweets or some kind of goodies over to our house," says Malini Khanna. "My family has enjoyed this unquestioningly over the years, but last year my seven-year-old son asked me what that thing was hanging out of our neighbour's window and why they gave us sweets every year. I told him something vague about New Year, but sheepishly had to admit that I had no idea what the gudi was." 

For both parents and children, Gudi Padwa means a day off from work or school. While they may know that this is the day when the Maharashtrians celebrate their New Year, most of them would be unaware of the rites, rituals and significance of this festival. This is a pity because in India one can learn about so many religions and cultures firsthand because there is such a multiplicity of people living cheek by jowl.
 

The celebration of springtime and harvest

This is a time of the year when the sun's rays increase in intensity, going from mellow to hot. The crops have been harvested and the fruits of the harvest are making their way to the marketplaces. Mangoes, the king of fruit, ripening to orange under the sun's warmth, are in season once again. The ripe smell of jackfruit fills the air. Shrubs and trees are bursting into flower. Everything is fresh and new. It looks and smells like spring (or the best impersonation of quintessential springtime that the Indian climate can do). 

Gudi Padwa, also known as Ugadi, is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu month of Chaitra, which according to the Gregorian calendar would fall sometime at the end of March and the beginning of April. This festival is supposed to mark the beginning of 'Vasant' or spring. 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. 

India was, and still is to a certain extent, a predominantly agrarian society. Thus, celebrations and festivals were often linked to the turn of the season and to the sowing and reaping of crops. There is a theory that the word 'padwa' might have its roots in the Sanskrit word for crop, which is 'Pradurbhu.' The word 'padwa' as used contemporarily means 'New Year', but this day also marks the end of one harvest and the beginning of a new one, which for an agricultural community would signify the beginning of a New Year. In the case of Gudi Padwa, it is celebrated at the end of the Rabi season. The term 'padava' or 'padavo' is also associated with Diwali, another New Year celebration that comes at the end of the harvesting season, thus substantiating the agricultural link to the festival. 
 

The festivities

On the festive day, courtyards in village houses will be swept clean and plastered with fresh cowdung. Even in the city, people take the time out to do some springcleaning. 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. Specialities like soonth panak and chana usal are eaten on this day. 

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 ajwain, gul, tamarind and jaggery. 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. 
 

The 'gudi'

While the 'padwa' part has been explained, you're probably wondering what a 'gudi' is. A 'gudi' is a pole on top of which an upturned brass or silver pot called a kalash is placed. The gudi is covered with a colourful silk cloth and decorated with coconuts, marigolds and mango leaves that symbolize nature's bounty. On Gudi Padwa, you will find gudis hanging out of windows or otherwise prominently displayed in traditional Maharashtrian households. 

Some Maharashtrians see the gudis as a symbol of victory associated with the conquests of the Maratha forces lead by the great hero Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Gudis are also displayed as they are expected to ward off evil and invite prosperity and good luck into the house.

You may also be interested in:

Bhai Dooj
(19471 views)
How to Celebrate Pongal
(89675 views)
Diwali Safety
(20089 views)
Significance of Muharram
(37710 views)
Cancel
Save Edit
parenting
Notifications
6 Comments
Sort by Newest

avatar

shobhraj
shobhraj.6 years ago
nice to know bout different festivals and rituals associated with it. Keep posting such articles
 
 
 
.
Reply
Deveban
Deveban.6 years ago
I am not a Maharashtrin but I live in Mumbai. I have seen people hanging gudi on their balcony and it really looks colourful and beautiful.
 
 
 
.
Reply
Kartika
Kartika.6 years ago
I like to eat tilgul on gudi Padwa. the early morning rituals are also very good and have many health benefits.
 
 
 
.
Reply
Back to Previous Page | More on Indian Culture Index



Subscribe


All tips on Indian Festivals And Occassions
You ever wanted in one place.
No need to go anywhere else. No spam.

*No spam only genuine emails
Follow us on:



Featured Articles - Infertility | Baby Development | Health and Fitness | How to Get Pregnant | Parenting Advice | Weight Loss | Pregnancy Advice | Name Numerology
Baby - Baby Photo Contest | Lucky Names | Lucky Birthdates | Horoscopes | Chinese Calendar | Compatibility Test | Fun Zone
Parenting - Message Boards | Planning a Baby | Pregnancy | Parents of Babies | Baby Names | Baby Name Poll | Birth Announcements | Parenting Quiz
Family - Cooking Club | Love & Relationships | Beauty Tips | Kids Weight Calculator | Recipe Maker
General - Calorie Counter | Personality Quiz | Love Signs | Compatibility Quiz