Gudi Padwa, which marks the arrival of Spring, is being celebrated with great enthusiasm by Maharashtra on Sunday. This spring-time festival marks the traditional new year for Marathi Hindus. Gudi Padwa is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar.
The 'Gudi', which means 'doll' is created by Maharashtrians, with six ingredients that symbolize new beginnings. People celebrate the festival by offering special prayers and preparing an array of culinary preparations. Puran Poli and Kheer are two such preparations which prepared in Maharashtrian families celebrating Gudi Padwa.
The word Padwa is derived from the Sanskrit word Paddava, which means the first day of the bright phase of the moon. A stick decorated with a bright cloth, neem leaves and garlands is unfurled outside a Maharashtrian household and hence, it got the name Gudi Padwa.
The devotee takes a holy oil bath followed by puja and performing rituals. Along with that eating neem leaves on the occasion is one of the rituals that are apparently strictly followed. The day also marks the beginning of Chaitra Navratri, that lead up to Ram Navami, Lord Rama's birthday to be celebrated on the ninth day.
In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the festival is celebrated as Ugadi. In Tamil Nadu, the lunisolar festival is known as Puthandu, in Assam as Bihu, Naba Barsha in West Bengal, Pana Sankranti in Orissa and Baisakhi in Punjab.
Several people across the nation are celebrating the start of the New Year. I convey my greetings to all those celebrating. May the year ahead be a wonderful one.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 18, 2018
नव संवत्सर और नवरात्रि की सभी देशवासियों को हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं। विक्रम संवत 2075 सबके जीवन में सुख, समृद्धि और अच्छा स्वास्थ्य लेकर लाए।— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 18, 2018
Sajibu Cheiraoba greetings to the people of Manipur. May the coming year bring peace and prosperity in everyone's lives.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 18, 2018
On Gudi Padwa, greetings to my sisters and brothers of Maharashtra. I hope the coming year marks the fulfilment of all your dreams and aspirations.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 18, 2018
Happy Ugadi! I pray for a year filled with happiness and good health.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 18, 2018
It is believed that this day marks the beginning of a cycle of 60 years and each year is identified by a unique name. On this day, people celebrate by decorating their homes with rangoli and flowers signifying the onset of harvest and spring season. Gudi Padwa or Ugadi commences with the eating of a specific mixture known as Bevu-Bella that comprises neem and jaggery, which symbolises that life is a mix of both- good and bad, joy and sorrow and that we must accept both with grace.