India | Maharashtra

Gudi Padwa

Gudi Padwa, the New Year day of Maharashtrians, falls on the first day of Chaitra.

People celebrate this festival with great enjoyment and spirit. Houses are cleaned prior to the festival. Apart from the usual rituals like drawing the Rangoli, people follow a unique custom of eating the bittersweet leaves of the neem tree on this day. They wear new clothes and also prepare native delicacies for everyone.

During this festival, the people of Maharashtra follow a tradition of hanging gudis outside the houses or in the localities. The Gudi is a pole with a brass or a silver vessel placed on the top. These poles are covered with a colorful silk cloth and decorated with marigold flowers, coconuts and mango leaves that symbolize nature's bounty. Then, boys and young men of the locality form a pyramid and the person on top of the pyramid breaks the coconut kept in the gudi.

There are some legends in association with the celebration of Gudi Padwa. Accordingly, Lord Brahma created the Universe on this day. It is also believed that on this day, Ram had killed King Vali.

Gudi Padwa is celebrated as Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh, as Yugadi in Karnataka, as Poila Baisakh in West Bengal and Bihu in Assam.

Updated on 20th July, 2005


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