A Gudhi Padwa new year festive procession in Maharashtra | Lightslamp

A Gudhi Padwa new year festive procession in Maharashtra


Official name:    Gudhi Padwa
Observed by:      Maharashtra Hindus
Celebrations:      1 day
Date :                  March / April
Frequency:          Annual

Gudhi means flag, erect flag on the houses as part of a celebration in Maharashtra where its mainly celebrated. According to Kittel word belongs to South Indian language origin.

The word padava is derived from the Sanskrit word pratipad for the first day of each fortnight in a lunar month i.e. the first day on which the moon appears after the so-called "new moon" day (amāvāsya) and the first day after the full moon. A Gudhi is also hoisted on this occasion giving this festival its name. The term padva or padavo is also associated with balipratipad the third day of Diwali. which is another celebration that comes at the end of the harvesting season.
Gudhi Padva signifies the arrival of spring and to the reaping of Rabi crops.

The festival is linked to the mythical day on which Hindu god Brahma created time and universe. To some, it commemorates the coronation of Rama in Ayodhya after his victory over evil Ravana, or alternatively the start of Shalivahan calendar after he defeated the Huns invasion in the 1st century.[8]

According to Anne Feldhaus, in rural Maharashtra, the festival is linked to Shiva's dance and coming together of the community as they carry the Gudhi Kavads together to a Shiva temple.
Traditionally, families prepare a special dish that mixes various flavors, particularly the bitter leaves of the neem tree and sweet jaggery (Gur, gul). Additional ingredients include sour tamarind and astringent dhane seeds. This, like the pacchadi recipe used in Ugadi festival, is eaten as a reminder of life's sweet and bitter experiences, as well as a belief that the neem-based mixture has health benefits.

Maharashtrian families also make many other festive dishes, such as shrikhand and Poori or Puran Poli on this day.


On a festive day, courtyards in village houses will be swept clean and plastered with fresh cow-dung. Even in the city, people take time out to do some spring cleaning. Women and children work on intricate rangoli designs on their doorsteps, the vibrant colors mirroring the burst of color associated with spring. Everyone dresses up in new clothes and it is a time for family gatherings.

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