Gudi Padwa refers to the New Year in Maharashtra. This celebration comes during the spring season when the Rabi crops are just ready for a bountiful harvest. Hence this is also a happy occasion for the farmers marking a harvest festival. Gudi Padwa falls on the first day of the Chaitra month and hence it is the first day of the New Year.
How to celebrate Gudi Padwa
On the day of Gudi Padwa, Maharashtrians clean and decorate their homes and take a holy bath. Colourful rangolis are very popular on this day in front of every house. People erect a special flag known as Gudi Flag on this day in their homes. This set up consists of a yellow or red colour flag fixed to a pole and decorated with flowers, neem leaves and mango leaves. The setup is then topped up with an upturned silver or copper vessel that symbolizes achievement and victory. It is believed that the festival of Gudi Padwa will protect the household from all evils and bring in prosperity, good luck and happiness.
Interesting elements of Gudi Padwa celebrations
Gudi Padwa also marks the victory of Sri Ram over the demon Ravan being organized on the day when Rama was crowned as the King of Ayodhya. It is very common to see street processions on Gudi Padwa. The Maharashtrians wear colourful new dresses and prepare delicious dishes at their homes. These are distributed among their friends and relatives. This day also marks the first day of the Chaitra Navratri that will culminate on Ram Navami day.