Importance of Gudi Padwa
Gudi Padwa is a festival mainly of Maharashtra state and Konkan region of India, i.e. Goa. Celebrated on the first day of Chaitra, which coincides with the first day of the waxing Moon. Gudi Padwa is the New Year for Marathi and Konkani people as per the Hindu calendar.
Welcoming the harvest season and the advent of the vibrant Vasant ritu/Spring are the other importance of Gudi Padwa. Usually Gudi Padwa falls in the month of March-April. This auspicious day is for new beginnings, ushering in happiness, prosperity, good health, good fortune and abundance.
It is also observed under different names in different states of India like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu etc. as well.
It is said that Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj was able to successfully expel the Mughal dominance from his kingdom on this day. The tradition of raising the Gudi in every Marathi home is believed to have been started by the great Shivaji, as a mark of victory.Here you can read how to make gudi at home.
There are different stories attached to why Gudi Padwa is celebrated. One of such stories says that Lord Ram put an end to the life of King Bali, which marks this day. And it is said that the ‘Gudi’ which is hoisted is to celebrate the victory of Lord Ram.
Gudi Padwa 2020 is on 25th. March, Wednesday and people start preparing for the celebrations way ahead of the date.
Gudi Padwa puja
On Gudi Padwa Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu (Lord Ram is an avatar of Vishnujee) are worshipped. People take a pre- Sunrise bath, by first rubbing their bodies with oil, on Sunrise they pay obeisance to Sun God. Family members wear new clothes, which are mostly traditional outfits. Women wear gold jewellery which represent prosperity.
It is a ritual to have a paste of a mixture of Neem leaves, Tamarind pulp and jaggery.
The family gather together to worship Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma and sometimes the Kuldevi/ Kuldevta (deity of the family), with offerings of flowers and special Shrikhand and other sweets and delicacies. Some devotees perform Homa or Havan. With chanting of mantras and prayers for wish fulfilment and blessings for a healthy, prosperous year ahead.
Hoisting the ‘Gudi’ outside the entrance of the house, on the right side is very significant and maybe called the symbol of Gudi Padwa. Legend also says that on the day that Gudi Padwa is celebrated, Lord Brahma had recreated the whole Universe, which was perished because of a massive deluge, so the Gudi is also referred to as the ‘Bhahmadhvaj’.
Traditionally the Gudi is made of a clean Bamboo stick on the top end is tied a cloth which is generally a bright green or yellow or saffron colour with Zari border. Over the cloth a garland of marigold flowers, a garland of Gathi (a sugar crystal special sweet), Neem and Mango leaves are adorned. An inverted Silver or Copper pot. Once that is done a Swastik symbol is drawn on it.
After assembling the Gudi, it is raised outside the house, the intension being that it should be visible by one and all. The family members then do aarti and worship the Gudi. ‘Bhog’ and sweets are offered to the Gudi. The Gudi is said to deflect evil eye and bring in positive energies.
Why Rangoli holds special importance on Gudi Padwa
The rituals of Gudi Padwa is incomplete without Rangoli. On this day it is said that women of the house get up earlier than the men of the house and make Rangoli with Rice flour or coloured powder outside the main entrance, steps leading to the house, courtyard and near the place where the Gudi is supposed to be installed later in the day.
Rangoli is a part of most Hindu festivals and lovely Rangoli are seen outside houses as a welcome decoration for the Divine Gods and Goddesses to step into the house. But Rangoli holds special importance on Gudi Padwa which has an interesting story. As per mythology, long ago there was a King who was very loved by the people of his kingdom.
The royal Priest was close to the King and was also popular among the people. But as fate would have it, the royal Priest’s son died suddenly, leaving the family members and the priest overwhelmed with grief. Seeing the grief-stricken Priest, the King and the people decided to pray to Lord Brahma to give back the priest’s son to him. The prayers were ultimately heard by the Lord and He asked the priest to portray an image of his son on the floor.
Once the royal priest finished painting his son’s image, Lord Brahma bestowed the image with life. The priest’s happiness knew no bounds. The King and people of the kingdom expressed their gratefulness to Lord Brahma. It is said that Rangolis are drawn since then.
It’s not that this event took place on Gudi Padwa, but because of the legend that Lord Brahma had recreated the Universe on the day when Gudi Padwa is celebrated, so Rangoli holds special importance on Gudi Padwa.
Following this tradition, Rangoli ideas and colour schemes are specially thought of and the Rangolis are done with devotion and care. The Rangolis comprise of symbols like the Swastik etc., traditional designs and patterns. The colours chosen are bright and the use of colours is done with dexterity. The colours have their own meaning. With time modern motifs are also popular.
All in all the Rangolis are vibrant decorations to usher good luck and prosperity, which also shows why Rangoli holds special importance on Gudi Padwa. The streets are decorated with big Rangoli displays, drawn by enthusiastic women and men. Rangoli competitions are held in various parts of cities or towns, on this glorious day.
The festivities of Gudi Pawda continue through the day with families eating together, special delicacies made at home, like Puran Poli, Shrikhand-puri etc.
Gudi Padwa is about strengthening family ties and bonding with friends. It’s a day of starting the New Year with positive hopes and joy.