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» Informational Articles » Festivals » Gudi Padwa

What is Ugadi or Gudi Padwa and Why do we celebrate Gudi Padwa?

Gudi Padwa is the most important festival for the state of Maharashtra and Konkan region i.e. Goa of India where it is referred to as Saṁsāra Pāḍavo. Considered as a significant traditional festival, it is celebrated as the New Year by Maharashtrian Hindus. Gudi Padva/Padwa is celebrated in different states and regions of our country in different styles or with a different set of rituals and is known by various names such as the Ugadi in Telugu and Yugadi in Kannada. Padwa originates from the word 'Paddava' which means the foremost day or the first day and refers to the waxing Moon and 'Gudi' is the symbolical flag which is raised which explains the Gudi Padwa meaning. Gudi Padwa is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month ( as per the lunisolar Hindu calendar), which coincides with the first day of Shukla Paksha (first day after New Moon) which falls in March-April. The mood of in and around the state of Maharashtra changes to happy, joyous celebratory mode on this day that includes traditional rituals too. Families enthusiastically decorate their houses to welcome the New Year in anticipation of an excellent year ahead, vibrant coloured clothes are worn and the infectious mood translates to smiling faces everywhere on this day of the Gudi Padwa festival.

When is Gudi Padwa:

Gudi Padwa or Parva is going to be celebrated on March 25, 2020, Wednesday.
Prtipada Tithi Begins – 14:57 (24 March 2020)
Prtipada Tithi Ends – 17:26 (25 March 2020)

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Significance of Gudi Padwa: Importance of Gudi Padwa

Every cultural festival of India has a reason behind its celebration. The entire 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 or Vasant Ritu as the sun planet is above the intersecting point of Equator. Another significance of Gudi Padwa is that it marks the harvest /reaping of Rabi crops. As India is chiefly an agricultural country, this is an important sign of Gudi Padwa.

In Maharashtra, locals celebrate 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.

Gudi Padwa Story

The story of Lord Brahma has special importance for Gudi Padwa. The Puranas narrate that 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 once again, on the day that Gudi Padwa is celebrated. 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 worshipped too.

Gudi/ 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 are yellow, green or saffron. Yellow color represents sato guna. It symbolizes Agni the Fire god and Surya elements and kills tamaic 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

How to make Gudi for Gudi Padwa

In its entirety, the Gudhi (gudi) symbolizes a celestial tool against all negative vibes and to usher prosperity, good fortune, good health, and energies of abundance.

  • Keep ready a bamboo stick of medium length.
  • Tie a bright green or yellow cloth with the gold 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?

  • Traditionally Gudi Padwa Puja starts with an oil bath before sunrise, by first rubbing oil on the body and then having a bath. The Sun energies are imbibed by the devotees on Sunrise.
  • The family members worship at the puja alter at home. Offerings of the special sweets which are prepared that day along with other Naivedya is made.
  • 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 Gudi Padwa information is available on various websites or can be enquired from experienced family members or friends.

How to Celebrate 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 2020 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 the house and on the staircase leading to the house, holds 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. The designs of Rangolis have decided ahead of this festive day. 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 will be blessed to reap abundance. The auspicious occasion of Gudi Padwa 2020 is eagerly awaited by everyone who celebrates it. It is a day when deities are invoked for blessings, the Gudi is raised to ward off evil and everyone is prepared to relax, indulge, and enjoy this day.

Gudi Padwa Special Products from Rudra Centre

Gudipadwa Puja Kit

We offer a kit specially prepared for Gudi Padwa festival. It contains all the essential items to prepare Gudi for decorating the entrance of house.
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Gudi Padwa Puja:

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Ramayana Path:

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