Gudi Padwa 2021
A new ray of light brings new dreams, new hopes, new 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 vasanta 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 are an expression of gratitude for the abundant harvest of the rabi crops. It is considered to be an auspicious day to begin a new venture, 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 cosmos. He, as the creator of everything that exists, is worshipped on this day. Another popular story is that the ‘victory flag’ was hoisted in Ayodhya on this day to mark the coronation of Lord Rama who returned back 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. It was on this auspicious day that Chhatrapati Maharaj Shivaji Bhosale marched the Maratha troops against the Mughals to attain the freedom of his Kingdom and establish the great ‘Maratha Samrajy.’ It was on this day that King Shailivahan defeated the Hun invaders and returned to Paithan. 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 with a huge procession.
Preparations and Celebrations
The preparations of the Gudi Padwa festival starts with the cleaning of the entire house. In olden days, a fresh coat of cow dung was applied in the courtyard, now a fresh coat of paint is 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 or the nine-yard saree and jewelry complete with ‘nath’ or the nose ring along with mogra flowers tied to their hair. Men dress up in dhoti-kurta or kurta-pajama with a saffron turban to complete the look. The doors are adorned with garlands of fresh flower 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. 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 tied on to a long bamboo stick. Neem and mango leaves, traditional sweets, and a garland of red and yellow flowers is 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. 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 are part of all festivals.
Festivities across India
Gudi Padwa is celebrated across the country under different names. The traditions may be a little different from place to place but the importance of the day remains the same.
Maharashtra, Goa, and parts of Mangalore celebrate the traditional Gudi Padwa as mentioned above.
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 celebrates ‘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 remains the same.
Gudi Padwa 2021
Gudi Padwa 2021 will be celebrated on the 13th of April which falls on a Tuesday. Banks will remain closed and schools and colleges will observe a holiday. In 2021, there were sombre celebrations on Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra and other places in India due to Covid-19 outbreak, This year too, Gudi Padwa is expected to be celebrated with simplicity and all the Covid-19 precautionary measures.
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 a large number of MSRTC buses to travel to different cities in Maharashtra on the occassion of Gudi Padwa. Travel with redBus this Gudi Padwa 2021 and enjoy the festival with your loved ones. Spread love and happiness this Gudi Padwa 2021 with redBus.