Importance of Gudi Padwa
In the different states of India, the Hindus celebrate New Year in their own different traditional style, in and around the same time of the year. Gudi Padwa or Gudi parwa is celebrated in the states of Maharashtra and Konkan region of India as the New Year with joy and cheer and is considered a very auspicious day.
This is the first day of Chaitra in accordance with the Hindu calendar and also the first day of the New Moon too. The word ‘padwa’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Paddva’ or ‘Paddvo’. In the Konkan region it is called Samsara Padavo. Another importance of Gudi Padwa is that it celebrates the harvest season, with prayers and hope for bountiful crops and the Spring or Vasant is celebrated too.
Gudi Padwa falls typically during March-April months. Some other states of India also celebrate the day as New Year in different names, like Karnataka celebrates it as Ugudi, Cheti Chand is the Sindhi New Year etc.
History of Gudi Padwa
Like the other festivals of India, Gudi Padwa too has story behind why Gudi Padwa is celebrated and history associated with it.
- The Brahma Puran says that the Universe was wiped out by a severe deluge, time had come to a standstill. On the day that is celebrated as Gudi Parwa, Lord Brahma had reconstructed the Universe once more and re-started time, as an era of justice and truth. So the Gudi is hoisted to commemorate this day and Lord Brahma is worshipped.
- The other popular story behind why Gudi Padwa is celebrated is that this day marks the eventual return of Lord Ram along with Sita Mata and His younger brother Laxmanjee back to the kingdom of Ayodhya. So Gudi Parwa is said to be a celebration of the Lord’s return after His victory over Ravana.
- A different version proclaims that Gudi Padwa is celebrated as Lord Ram killed King Bali on this day. The celebration and raising of Gudi is in reverence of this triumphant event.
- The other history of Gudi Padwa is that the great Maratha King Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his troops victoriously put an end to the Mughal rule in the kingdom. It is said that Shivaji Maharaj started the tradition of celebrating Gudi Padwa and hoisting the Gudi in every house as a sign of victory.
- Another story behind why Gudi Padwa is celebrated or rather why the Gudi is erected is said to be for the victory of King Shalivahana. It is believed that the people of Paithan raised flags of victory on this occasion and the connection of Gudi is to the same.
What is the Gudi
Among all the rituals which are followed on Gudi Padwa, the most important is the raising of the ‘Gudi’ which is done by every Hindu Maharashtrian family on this day. The ‘Gudi’ is like a flag and is also known as the ‘Brahmadhvaj’ which translates to Lord Brahma’s flag.
The Gudi is made traditionally, by tying a yellow/green/saffron cloth on the top end of a long Bamboo stick, over the cloth are tied Neem Leaves and the auspicious Mango leaves, yellow/orange flower garland and a garland made of sugar crystal called ‘Sakhar Gathi’ is put and topping all this is an inverted Silver or Copper pot.
The elements which make the Gudi have symbolic significance, like, the pot stands for Yashashri meaning winning/victory, the Sakhar Gathi symbolizes sweetness of life etc. After assembling the Gudi the Swastik symbol is drawn on the pot with Kumkum. The Gudi is said to keep evil eye at bay and bring energies of prosperity. It also stands for good over evil.
Things to do on Gudi Padwa
On the day of Gudi Parwa a ritualistic bath is taken before sunrise, by rubbing oil on the body. The house is cleaned. Women of the house draw beautiful Rangolis outside the entrance of the house, on the steps leading to the house and Rangoli holds special significance for Gudi Padwa.
Previously the traditional ingredients of rice flour, vermillion and turmeric powder were used to draw Rangolis but now coloured powders are used. Everyone wears new traditional clothes.
The Gudi is then raised outside the main entrance of the house, on the right side. Puja and aarti of the Gudi is done by the family members. The unique ritual of having the a mixture of paste of Neem leaves, jaggery and tamarind pulp is had by everyone.
Puja of deities at home and prayers to Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma is offered. Some devotees visit temples too.
Special delicacies are made to be enjoyed by family members, like Shrikhand-Puri etc. A special sweet is made by the Konkanis called Kanangachi Kheer for the New Year celebrations.
In Maharashtra, processions with men and women dressed in tradition clothes, holding saffron flags are seen on the streets to commemorate the tradition set by Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Folk songs, dance, traditional Maharashtrian musical instruments all form a part of these colourful processions.
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Gudi Padwa 2020 will be celebrated on 25th. March, Wednesday.
Prtipada Tithi Begins – 14:57 (24 March 2020)
Prtipada Tithi Ends – 17:26 (25 March 2020)