Gudi Padwa 2023
A new ray of light brings new dreams, hopes, and beginnings. Gudi Padwa falls on the first day of the Hindu month of Chaitra. The ‘Chaitra Shuddha Pratipada’ or ‘Sanvasar Padwa’ marks the beginning of the Marathi New Year. The day generally corresponds with the English month of March or April. Chaitra Navratri celebrations also begin with Gudi Padwa. With the onset of the spring season, or the Vasantha Ritu, nature witnesses the growth of new shoots and leaves. It is time for the Earth to recharge and regenerate with the sun’s energy. The celebrations express gratitude for the abundant harvest of the rabi crops. It is considered an auspicious day to begin a new venture and invest in gold, silver, property, vehicles, and other valuables. Groundbreaking for new projects is done on this day.
Significance of Gudi Padwa
‘Gudi’ means Brahma’s flag or the ‘Bramhadwaj,’ and ‘Padwa’ means the first day. As per the Bramha Puran, Lord Bramha started the creation of the Universe on this auspicious day. This makes Gudi Padwa the first day of the existence of time and the cosmos. As the creator of everything that exists, he is worshipped on this day. Another famous story is that the ‘victory flag’ was hoisted in Ayodhya on this day to mark the coronation of Lord Rama, who returned to his Kingdom after being in exile for 14 years with his consort Sita, and brother Laxmana, and after slaying the demon king, Ravana of Lanka.
The day has special significance for the people of Maharashtra. On this auspicious day, Chhatrapati Maharaj Shivaji Bhosale marched the Maratha troops against the Mughals to attain the freedom of his Kingdom and establish the great ‘Maratha Samrajy.’ On this day, King Shailivahan defeated the Hun invaders and returned to Paithan. Hence, the Gudi is raised as a symbol of victory and prosperity. In rural Maharashtra, the festival is related to Shiva’s cosmic dance, and a ‘Gudi Kavad’ is carried to the Shiva Temple in a vast procession.
Preparations and Celebrations
The preparations for the Gudi Padwa festival start with cleaning the entire house. In the olden days, a fresh coat of cow dung was applied in the courtyard, and now a fresh coat of paint was put up. The day starts with the customary application of aromatic oil, followed by bathing and dressing up in new clothes. Women wear traditional paithani, navavari, the nine-yard saree, and jewelry complete with ‘Nath’ or the nose ring and mogra flowers tied to their hair. Men dress up in a dhoti-kurta or kurta-pajama with a saffron turban to complete the look. The doors are adorned with garlands of fresh flowers and mango leaves. A colorful, intricate, and elaborate rangoli of colors and flowers at the doorstep and corridors is put up to welcome the new year. Finally, a decorated Gudi is erected at the gate or outside the window and worshipped. It is believed that Gudi wards off any evil influence and attracts good luck and prosperity. The Gudi is made by wrapping a yellow or bright green silk brocade with a golden border and tying on onto a long bamboo stick. Neem and mango leaves, traditional sweets, and a garland of red and yellow flowers are tied to the top of the Gudi. It is further decorated with ornaments and an inverted silver, bronze, or copper Kalash pot. A human pyramid is formed with men and adolescent boys to reach and break the coconut kept in the Gudi.
Food plays an important role in all festivities. Srikhand, poori, chana, Puran Poli, and other traditional Maharashtrian dishes are prepared and offered to God as ‘naived’ and later shared with friends, family, and neighbors. A mixture of neem leaves and jaggery, along with coriander seeds or ‘dhane,’ is consumed to mark the commencement of festivities. Finally, the family visits the temple to seek blessings and pray for good luck in the coming year. Exchanging sweets and savories with friends and relatives is part of all festivals.
Festivities across India
Gudi Padwa is celebrated across the country under different names. The traditions may differ from place to place, but the day's importance remains the same.
As mentioned above, Maharashtra, Goa, and parts of Mangalore celebrate the traditional Gudi Padwa.
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka observe the new year as Ugadi or Yugadi. Ugadi pachhidi, abhyanga snanam, daanam, and other rituals are part of the festivities.
Manipur celebrates the festival as ‘Meetei Cheraoba’ or ‘Sajibu Nongma Panba.’ An elaborate feast, hillock climbing, and other traditions are part of the festivities.
Sindhis celebrate ‘Cheti Chand,’ while Kashmiri Pandits celebrate ‘Navreh’ on this day. The Hindus of Bali and Indonesia celebrate ‘Nyepi’ while Rajasthan celebrates ‘Thapna.’ Though the name and traditions are different, the sentiments associated with the festival remain the same.
redBus with Gudi Padwa
redBus offers travel services to help you reach your favorite destinations across the country and to be a part of the festivities. One can also book many MSRTC buses to travel to different cities in Maharashtra on the occasion of Gudi Padwa. Travel with redBus this Gudi Padwa 2023 and enjoy the festival with your loved ones. Spread love and happiness this Gudi Padwa 2023 with redBus.