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» Informational Articles » Festivals » Gudi Padwa

WHAT IS GUDI PADWA OR UGADI AND WHY DO WE CELEBRATE GUDI PADWA?

Gudi Padwa is one of the most important festivals in the state of Maharashtra. It is celebrated with much fanfare in the entire state of Maharashtra especially in the Konkan region. It is also celebrated in the state of Goa where it is referred to as Saṁsāra Pāḍavo. Considered as the most significant traditional festival, it is celebrated as the New Year by Maharashtrian Hindus. Gudi Padwa is celebrated on the first day in the Hindu calendar month of Chaitra. The word Padwa originates from the word 'Paddava' which means the foremost day or the first day and 'Gudi' is the symbolical flag which is raised on the day, thus the name Gudi Padwa. The festival falls in and around March-April according to the Gregorian calendar. Gudi Padva/Padwa is also celebrated in various states and regions of the country in different styles with various set of rituals and is also known by different names. This day is celebrated as Ugadi festival in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. It is called Ugadi in Telugu and Yugadi in Kannada. The festival is celebrated with much joy and vigour. Families enthusiastically decorate their houses to welcome the New Year in anticipation of an excellent year ahead. New clothes are worn, delicacies are cooked and everyone is in happy, festive mood.

When is Gudi Padwa (Muhurat):

Gudi Padwa or Parva is going to be celebrated on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
Prtipada Tithi Begins – 08:00 AM on Apr 12, 2021
Prtipada Tithi Ends – 10:16 AM on Apr 13, 2021

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SIGNIFICANCE OF GUDI PADWA: IMPORTANCE OF GUDI PADWA

Gudi Padwa is considered as a perfect day to start any new venture, business or undertake a new endeavour. The day is considered very auspicious, other than traditional and cultural importance it also has great spiritual and mystic significance as well. The day is also the day on which the Hindu calendar starts. All traditions and rituals done on this day has deeper meaning behind them which helps bring positivity, good health and fortune and auspiciousness in our homes and lives. The day of Gudi Padwa is considered extra special for new beginnings and to dispel past negativities.

WHY GUDI PADWA IS CELEBRATED?

Every cultural festival of India has a reason behind its celebration. The celebration of Gudi Padva revolves around three major reasons. First, it is believed that Lord Brahma created the cosmic universe on this day. Second, Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after the war against Ravana. And third, it underlines the beginning of spring season or Vasant Ritu as the sun planet is above the intersecting point of Equator. Another significant reason of celebrating Gudi Padwa is that it marks the harvest /reaping of Rabi crops. As India is chiefly an agricultural country, this is an important event and thus is celebrated. In the state of Maharashtra, locals also celebrate the day by honouring Shivaji Maharaja and his victory over the Mughal dominance in the region. It is believed that the Gudi which is raised on the day in Maharashtrian Hindu homes is also to honour his victory.

Story of Gudi Padwa

On the day of Gudi Padwa Lord created the Universe. The Puranas narrate that once the Universe was completely wiped out by an enormous deluge. Even the cycle of time stopped. Lord Brahma recreated the Universe and re-initiated time to start everything once again. Thus on the said day Gudi Padwa is celebrated every year. This is the reason why the Gudi is also called 'Brahma Dhwaja' and raised to commemorate this event. On this day Lord Brahma, the Creator, is also worshipped.

GUDI: CENTRAL FIGURE OF THE FESTIVAL

People raise Gudhi (Gudi) on the right side of their houses on the outside. It is made of a long wooden bamboo covered with an overturned copper pot called Kalasha and a brocade-filled yellow piece of cloth (green or saffron at times). Atop are the sugar crystals, neem leaves, and a twig of mango leaves with a garland of flowers is kept.

  • Kalash means pot. In the revealed scriptures Kalash is called purnakalash. Purna means complete. So it is a complete pot with purity used for keeping holy waters or other ceremonial liquids.
  • Colours of the cloth used are generally yellow, green or saffron. Yellow colour represents sato guna. It symbolizes Agni the Fire God and Surya elements; it dispels tamasic energies or the darkness (ignorance). Green and saffron represent life, beginning as Lord Brahma had created the cosmos on this day and the fire element (divine) that leads the intense yellow (pure fire), respectively. A twig of Mango leaves represents immortality.
  • Red flowers used in the Gudi epitomize the qualities of passion against the negative elements. In the Vedas, all the aggressive deities such Goddess Kali signify red color that intimidates the survival of the evil spirits.
  • Sugar crystals: Panchamrit has Sugar as one of the ingredients. It represents sweetness. Being sweet, humble and respectful is the first quality of people in the mode of goodness (Sato guna). In the entire Ramayana, Lord Rama never used harsh languages against any of His subjects including His enemies.

GUDI PADWA HISTORY

The auspicious festival of Gudi Padwa signifies the triumph of good over evil. On this day Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after defeating the demon king Ravana. The history of Gudi Padwa dates back to the mythological episode of coronation of Lord Rama in Ayodhya after He returned from the exile of 14 years. So, Gudi Padwa is also believed to be the celebration of this occasion. The Gudi on the stick is significantly similar to the victory flag that flutters high in the sky.

Gudi Padwa Festival is celebrated in which States?

Gudi Padwa is a Hindu festival that is mainly celebrated in the South region of India in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Gudi Padwa is celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal by the Maharashtrians especially because it is the first day of the Hindu New year.

HOW TO MAKE GUDI AT HOME?

The Gudhi (gudi) symbolizes a tool against all negativities and is used to usher prosperity, good fortune, good health and energies of abundance.

  • Take a bamboo stick of medium length
  • Tie a bright green or yellow cloth with a golden border at the end of this stick.
  • Tie some mango and neem leaves around this cloth.
  • Add a flower garland, generally, Yellow or Orange Marigold flower garlands are used, along with mishri (sugar crystals) termed 'Sakar Gathi', around this cloth.
  • Place an inverted Silver or Copper Kalash (pot) at the top of the stick. Draw the sacred Swastik symbol with Kumkum on it.
  • Place this Gudi (in a slightly tilted position) on the right side of the main entrance of the house.
  • Hoist this Gudi, considering it as a flag of Bramha. The Gudi is raised to a height where it is visible by all from near and far.

How to do Gudi Padwa Puja? (Pooja Vidhi)

  • Traditionally Gudhi Padwa Puja starts with an oil bath before sunrise, by first rubbing oil on the body and then having a bath. The energies of Sun are imbibed by the devotees on Sunrise.
  • The family members worship at the puja altar at home. Offerings of the special sweets are made which are prepared on that day along with other Naivedya.
  • The Hoisting of the Gudi is the most significant part or the Gudi Padwa puja. It is installed as per the Tithi after Sunrise. So after assembling the Gudi/Gudhi, it is raised by invoking the blessings of Bramha and Vishnu by chanting their mantra and addressing the Lord in this way:
    “O Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu Please enable me to absorb the Principle of Creation and the Fire Principle present in the atmosphere. Let the Divine consciousness present in these principles be preserved constantly. Let the energy thus received, be used for my spiritual practice.”
  • The aarti of the Gudi is performed along with offerings.
  • Some choose to perform Homa or Havan at home and some also visit temples to worship.
    On this auspicious day, the prayers and the intentions of everyone are that of hope and positive expectations for the year to follow. Other information of Gudi Padwa is available on various websites or can be enquired from experienced family members or friends.

HOW IS GUDI PADWA CELEBRATED? / WHAT TO DO ON GUDI PADWA?

Gudi Padwa is about new beginnings. The preparation for Gudi Padwa celebrations starts days ahead when houses are thoroughly cleaned like it is done before the festival of Diwali. Like every year, Gudi Padwa 2021 will be a public holiday in Maharashtra.

On the day of Gudi Padwa after having the traditional bath, the day starts with the ritual of having a paste of Neem leaves, Jaggery and Tamarind as it purifies the blood and regulates its circulation. Another version of this paste also has Corriander seeds. Unlike other Indian festivals where having sweets is prevalent, Gudi Padwa festival celebrations include this unique ritual of having this bitter-sweet-sour mixture which in one way represents the way life tastes.

The women of the house create beautiful multi-hued Rangolis outside their homes. This tradition holds huge significance, and is an integral part of the celebrations. The Rangoli designs include the symbols of Swastik, Om, and other auspicious symbols. Coloured powder and sometimes flower petals are used for the Rangoli displays. Rangoli is said to invite prosperity and abundance into the house.

Torans with a combination of Mango leaves and flowers are hung above the main entrance door. All family members wear new clothes. Women wear Gold jewellery as Gold is a symbol of prosperity and also prefer wearing the traditional Maharashtrian Nauvari saree on Gudi Padwa.

Special dishes like Shrikhand-Poori, Puran Poli are made fresh for Gudi Padwa and are offered to God and the Gudi as well. The most important ritual of hoisting the Gudi is done by the family members with fervour. Traditionally the Gudi is raised by the senior member of the family. It is a day of bonding and togetherness with friends and relatives. Meeting friends, exchanging gifts with each other, and having meals/sweets together is the order of the day. The doors of the house are kept wide open to welcome all guests.

In cities and towns of Maharashtra, processions of men and women with flags in their hand, dressed in colourful traditional attire dancing and singing about the valour of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj are a common sight. The traditional Maharashtrian dance Lezim is often seen being performed in these processions with the accompaniments of traditional drums and Bugal of Maharashtra.

As Rangoli is an important part of Gudi Padwa, Rangoli displays are seen on the streets too. Rangoli competitions are organized in many areas of cities that have enthusiastic participation. The tradition of buying Gold, new house, vehicle, the inauguration of new business/shops is prevalent. Because the day is highly auspicious so it is considered anything new started on this day will be blessed to reap abundance. The auspicious occasion of Gudi Padwa 2021 is eagerly awaited by everyone who celebrates it. It is a day when Pujas are done, Deities are invoked for blessings, the Gudi is raised to ward off evil and everyone is prepared to celebrate and enjoy the day.

Gudi Padwa Special Products from Rudra Centre

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