New Delhi: The auspicious occasion of Gudi Padwa is being celebrated this year on April 13. As per the Hindu calendar, New Year is marked during the Chaitra months (March-April) and different regions of the country have different names and rituals for it. Like in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana it is called Ugadi, in Jammu and Kashmir, it is known as Navreh.
In Maharashtra, Gudi Padwa marks the New Year. The Konkani community refers to this day as Samwatsara.
GUDI - A WOODEN STICK
A wooden stick is covered with a piece of bright red or yellow coloured cloth. Then a Kalash made of silver, copper or bronze is placed upside down on one end of the stick. A dash of vermillion (kumkum) and turmeric (haldi) are applied on the outer surface of the Kalash. This ensemble is called Gudi and it’s placed outside the door or the window so that everyone in the vicinity gets to see it. A garland made of sugar candy (saakhar gaathi) and neem leaves are hung along with the Gudi. This ritual signifies the bittersweet experiences of life.
HOW MAHARASHTRIANS CELEBRATE GUDI PADWA:
Days before the festival, people start cleaning their homes and courtyards to start preparations for the actual day. On the day of the festival, people decorate their doorsteps with Rangoli. Flowers are used for decorating the house and a toran made of mango leaves is hung across the top of the door.
People take bath and wear new clothes and dress up in traditional style. Women drape the Navari and the men wear Kurta teamed up with Dhoti or Pyjama. People offer their prayers to the Gudi after placing it on the window or door. They offer flowers, perform the aarti and put Akshat on the Gudi.
The families get together to celebrate their New Year by consuming a preparation made of neem leaves, jaggery to symbolise the diverse aspects of life. Shrikhand and Puran Poli are also prepared on this day.
SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF GUDI PADWA:
On this day, Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya along with his consort Sita and brother Lakshmana after defeating demon King Ravana in Lanka.