People in Maharashtra today celebrated the Hindu New Year with traditional fervour and welcomed it as per the Shalivahan Shaka calendar. The day is commonly known as ‘Gudi Padwa’. Households across the state witnessed hectic activities with family members erecting the traditional ‘Gudi’ a long bamboo stick with new silk cloth, garland and a dangling neem twig. It also has a silver or metal pot on it.
As per belief, the long ‘Gudi’ symbolises victory and inspires people to prosper materially and spiritually. The women dish out sweets like ‘Puran Poli’ and ‘Shrikhand’ along with ‘Aambe daal’ and ‘Sunth Paak’. The New Year day is also considered auspicious for ‘vaastu puja’ and opening new business establishments. Several community processions were taken out throughout the state.
A number of stories are associated with the festival, prominent among them being the “theory of creation” and also the day when Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya after defeating King Ravana in Lanka.
The year begins on the first day of Chaitra of the Hindu calendar named as Shalivahan. It is named so after King Shalivahan, from Paithan in Maharashtra. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his greetings, “Gudi Padwa wishes to all friends in Maharashtra. Praying for a phenomenal year, full of happiness and success.”