is the first month of the Hindu calendar and the very first day of this month
begins the new year in Maharashtra, Andhra and parts of Karnataka. This
festival is called GudiPadva or Ugadi. The people of these states follow the
Shalivahan Shaka, one of the two eras used in the lunar calendar. Gudi means a
banner raised to announce victory and joy and padva is the first day of a lunar
month. The victory banner in
Maharashtrian homes is made with a wooden or metal pole at the top of which
stands an upturned metal water pot. The pot is edged with gathers of silken
cloth, garlands of marigold and new mango leaves.
gudi is raised at the entrance of a house and is reminiscent of the valiant
Marathas returning home from their successful conquering expeditions of war.
This auspicious day also means good eating. Melons, jackfruit, mangoes,
sprouted gram and a variety of sherbets such as mango panha, are served.
Since Gudi Padva is considered one of the
four most auspicious days in the year, people start new ventures on this day.
It is believed that Brahma created the world on this day hence he is worshipped
specially at this time. Vishnu is also said to have been incarnated as Matsya, the
fish, on this day.