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What is Gudi Padwa?

What is Gudi Padwa?

The Gudi Padwa festival is celebrated in the western state of Maharashtra and marks the beginning of the Marathi new year. It falls in the month of March or April.

Gudi Padwa, also known as Samvatsar Padvo, is a springtime festival that marks the New Year for the people of Maharashtra, Goa, and parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in India. It is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar, which typically falls in March or April.

Gudi Padwa is celebrated with great enthusiasm and is considered one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar. The festival is associated with the harvest season and the arrival of spring, which symbolizes new beginnings and the renewal of life.

On this day, people clean their homes, decorate them with rangolis and flowers, and prepare special dishes.

One of the main traditions of Gudi Padwa is the preparation of the Gudi, a bamboo stick decorated with a silk cloth, flowers, and a garland, and topped with an upturned copper or silver vessel. The Gudi is then hoisted at the entrance of homes, symbolizing victory and prosperity.

Happy Gudi Padwa
Happy Gudi Padwa Image by Freepik

In addition to these traditions, Gudi Padwa is also marked by various cultural events and performances. In Maharashtra, people participate in the traditional dance form of Lavani, while in Goa, people perform the folk dance of Fugdi. The festival also sees the participation of musicians, who perform traditional music, and theater artists, who stage plays and dramas.

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Gudi Padwa Procession
Gudi Padwa Procession on Bikes – Source

In Maharashtra, people take out processions carrying the Gudi, which is decorated with a silk cloth, flowers, and a garland, and topped with an upturned copper or silver vessel. The procession is led by a group of drummers and dancers, and people dress up in traditional clothes and participate in the revelry.

During the procession, the Gudi is carried to the local temple, where it is offered to the deity as a symbol of victory and prosperity. The procession also passes through the streets, and people offer prayers and distribute sweets and other delicacies to their neighbors and friends.

Aamti – Tangy Lentil Dish – Source and Recipe
Shreekhand Source

People decorate their homes with colorful rangolis, raise a Gudi flag.

Some of the special dishes made during Gudi Padwa include:

  1. Puran Poli: A sweet flatbread stuffed with a mixture of lentils, jaggery, and cardamom powder. It is usually served with ghee. (same as bobbatlu served in Andhra pradesh for Ugadi above)
  2. Shrikhand: A sweet dish made with strained yogurt, sugar, and flavored with cardamom powder and saffron.
  3. Aamti: A spicy dal dish made with toor dal, kokum, jaggery, and a blend of Maharashtrian spices.
  4. Kothimbir Vadi: A savory snack made with besan (gram flour), coriander leaves, and spices. It is steamed and then fried.
  5. Sabudana Khichdi: A popular Maharashtrian breakfast dish made with tapioca pearls, peanuts, and spices.
  6. Kanda Poha: A classic breakfast dish made with flattened rice, onions, and a blend of spices.
  7. Batata Bhaji: A simple and tasty potato dish that is flavored with cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and curry leaves.

These dishes are usually served with rice, chapatis, or puris. Gudi Padwa is a time for families and friends to come together and enjoy traditional Maharashtrian food, which is an integral part of the celebrations.

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