Gudi Padwa 2014 • गुढी पाडवा
About the Festival
Gudi Padwa or Gudhi Padwa (Marathi: गुढी पाडवा) is the Marathi name for the Hindu holy day of Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. It is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month to mark the beginning of the New year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar.
Being the first day of the first month of a year, Gudhi Padwa is the New Year's Day for Marathi people.
On Gudi Padwa, you will find gudi hanging out of window or otherwise prominently displayed in traditional Maharashtrian households. Gudi is a bright green or yellow cloth adorned with brocade (zari) tied to the tip of a long bamboo over which gathi (sugar crystals), neem leaves.
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On the festive day, courtyards in village houses will be swept clean and plastered with fresh cow-dung. Even in the city, people take the time out to do some spring cleaning. Women and children work on intricate rangoli designs on their doorsteps, the vibrant colours mirroring the burst of colour associated with spring. Everyone dresses up in new clothes and it is a time for family gatherings.
Traditionally, families are supposed to begin the festivities by eating the bittersweet leaves of the neem tree. Sometimes, a paste of neem leaves is prepared and mixed with dhane, gul/gur (known as jaggery in English), and tamarind. All the members of the family consume this paste, which is believed to purify the blood and strengthen the body’s immune system against diseases.
Maharashtrian families also make shrikhand and Poori on this day. Konkanis make Kanangachi Kheer, a variety of Kheer made of sweet potato, coconut milk, jaggery, rice flour, etc. and Sannas., a twig of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers is tied. A silver or copper pot is placed in the inverted position over it. This gudi is then hoisted outside the house, in a window, terrace or a high place so that everybody can see it.
Source: Wikipedia contributors, "Gudi Padwa," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gudi_Padwa&oldid=388655754