Mumbai: `Gudi Padwa`, the first day of the
month of Chaitra, marking the beginning of the New Year as
per the Hindu calendar was celebrated with pomp and gaiety
here on Monday blending cricket and tradition.
Shobha yatras, tableaus, bike rallies highlighting
Maharashtrian culture and tradition with men, women and
children dressed in finery were taken out in several areas of
the city including Vile Parle, Girgaum, Dadar and Andheri.
Some processions in Andheri had a "World Cup" theme
hailing Team India`s victory over Sri Lanka. In neighbouring
Thane district also, a huge replica of the Cup was put up by
the local unit of the NCP, celebrating the World Champions.
Maharashtrian families began the festivities by eating
a paste of neem leaves which is prepared and mixed with
jaggery and tamarind, which is believed to purify the blood
and strengthen the body`s immune system against diseases.
Sweet dishes like Shrikand Puri, Kheer are served on the
festivity and home thresholds are decorated with marigolds.
A `Gudi` is positioned on the right side of the house
main entrance. It is a pole on top of which an upturned brass
or silver pot called `kalash` is placed. The gudi is covered
with a colourful green or yellow silk cloth and decorated with
coconuts, marigold flowers and mango leaves.
The Gudi is believed to ward off evil, invite prosperity
and good luck into the house.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) hoisted a 51-feet Gudi
in suburban Malad at the hands of Raj Thackeray`s wife
Sharmila and party leader Sharmila Thackeray. Actress Rima
Lagoo, Priya Berde, Asawari Joshi were prominent among those
present on the occasion.