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~ Happy Gudi Pardwa ~

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Angel_Drishne
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Frenz 4 Ever ~ Happy Gudi Pardwa ~

Post by Angel_Drishne on Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:26 pm

Gudi Padwa is one of the major festivals celebrated by the people of Maharashtra. It falls on the first day of the Hindu month of Chaitra (somewhere around March-end or April-start) and is celebrated in the state as the New Year's Day. The day on which the festival takes place coincides with the first day of Hindu National Calendar (as adopted by the Government of India). Gudhi Padwa is also celebrated in some states of South India, though the name (Ugadi) by which it is known there is different.

The Brahma Purana
Even Sindhis celebrate a festival on the same day as Gudhi Padwa and it is known as Cheti Chand. The festival is believed to mark the commencement of the spring season in India, known as Vasant/Basant. In the Brahma Purana, it has been written that it was on this day only that Lord Brahma recreated the world, after the inundation that devastated it. Each and every moment of the day on which Gudi Padwa is celebrated is considered to be very auspicious. This is the reason why the festival is celebrated with such grand festivities.

Celebrations
The day of Gudi Padwa starts with the cleaning ritual, in which the house is fully cleaned (in case of villages, it is then covered with fresh cow-dung). Thereafter, women and children indulge in the drawing as well as coloring of intricate rangoli designs on the doorsteps. Usually, vibrant colors are chosen for the rangoli, in keeping with the spirit of the festival. Every member of the family wears new clothes and eats soonth panak and chana usal, the specialties of the day.

Other delicacies made on Gudhi Padwa festival include Shrikand and Poori. In the earlier days, family members used to start the day by eating the leaves of neem tree. However, the tradition is not as rigidly followed these days. Usually, people consume a paste of neem leaves (combined with ajwain, jaggery and tamarind). The leaves as well as the paste are believed to cleanse blood and toughen the immune system.

Gudi
Gudi, meaning Brahma's flag (Brahmadhvaj), is hoisted by people on the day of Gudi Padwa, as a symbol of victory of good over evil. It is also believed to ward off evil influences and bring prosperity and good luck into the house. Gudi is made by tying a bright green or yellow cloth, adorned with brocade (zari), to a long bamboo. Over the cloth, gathi (a type of sweet), neem leaves, a twig of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers is tied.

Thereafter, a silver or copper pot is placed over it in inverted position. Then, the Gudi is hoisted on the window or on the gate. The floor before Gudi is adorned with rangoli, made of a special powder of soft, white stone. Lastly, it is worshipped, while offering obeisance to the flag of Lord Brahma. Whatever be the state in which the festival is celebrated and whatever be its name, its significance as well as the scale of festivities surrounding it remains the same.


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Angel_Drishne
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Frenz 4 Ever Re: ~ Happy Gudi Pardwa ~

Post by Angel_Drishne on Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:29 pm


Gudi Padva - Celebration of New Year

New Year is celebrated in different states of India under various names, for e.g. Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Gudi Padava in Maharashtra. The Sindhis celebrate it as Cheti chand.

The Meaning

Gudi means a banner raised to announce victory and joy and "Padva" is another name for "Pratipada" which is the first day of a lunar month. The Maharashtrian New Year's Day is celebrated in March/April, on the first day of the Hindu month - Chaitra and marks the beginning of spring or "Vasant". This day is said to be the one on which Lord Brahma created the world after deluge. It is a day of great festivity and rejoicing as it commemorates the triumphant expeditions of the Maratha armies of the great Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the most beloved leader of the Maharashtrians. It is a day when the brave Marathas returned home from their successful expeditions of war.

The Customs

People get up early and clean their houses, decorate them with intricate rangoli (colored rice flour designs for the floor) designs. This worship to the "Gudi" is supposed to drive away evil from the house and are expected to usher in prosperity and good fortune.

A brightly colored silk cloth is first tied to a wooden pole with a brass or silver goblet or kalash is placed upturned atop it. Then garlands of sweet sugary battasa, neem leaves and orange -yellow marigold flowers are tied to the pole. This is called the "Gudi". The "Gudi" or decorated pole is placed where it can be seen by passers by.

This auspicious day also marks the beginning of the consumption of summer foods like melons, jack-fruit, mangoes , sprouted gram and more. A variety of sherbets such as Mango Panha and special sweets like Puran Poli are served. Traditional Maharashtrians have the custom of eating a couple of bitter neem leaves fried in ghee and mixed with sugar. They are eaten on Gudi Padva to ensure good health. The neem paste is believed to purify the blood and build up immunity in the body against diseases.

Gudi Padva is considered one of the auspicious days in the year when people start new ventures. House-warming poojas are performed and people also may choose to buy gold, silver or property on this day. There are some legends behind the celebration of Gudi Padwa. It is said that the Universe was created by Brahma on this day and Satyuga (The Age of Truth and Justice) began.

Some other Facts
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. The people of these states follow the ShaUvahan Shaka, one of the two eras used in the lunar calendar
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 Matsva. the fish, on this day.

Time for Celebration

There is a family gathering and Maharashtrian delicacies are prepared for everyone. The Maharashtrians make puran poli or sweet rotis, soonth pak and usal.
Houses are cleaned prior to the festival. Colourful rangoli designs are drawn at entrances. New clothes are worn on this day. There is a family gathering and Maharashtrian delicacies are prepared for everyone. The Maharashtrians make puran poli or sweet rotis, soonth pak and usal.
The prasad of Ugadi/Gudi Padwa is the bitter leaves of the neem tree with jaggery. There are special foods prepared for this festival. In the southern states, puligore-a sour tamarind rice dish, bobbatlu, holige- a sweet stuffed bread and Ugadi Pachadi made of jagerry, raw mango pieces, neem flowers and tamarind is prepared. In Maharastra, shrikhand -a fragrant yogurt dessert, with poori-a fried puffy bread is prepared.


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