Hindu Festival: Gudi Padwa


Chaitra 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.


The 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.

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