Gudi Padwa Celebrations (Photo Credit: PTI )
Gudi Pawda, one of the most popular summertime festivals of Maharashtra will be held on March 25 this year according to the Shalivahan Shaka calendar. The people from Maharashtra ushers in their new year with much traditional fervour by hoisting the Gudhi (victory flags) in front of the homes. According to the Marathi calender, their new year starts on the first day of Chaitra.
Households witness hectic activities that starts with erecting the traditional â€˜Gudiâ€™ a long bamboo stick with a dangling neem stick, a garland and a new silk cloth , essentially to Â to commemorate the victories of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The â€˜Guddiâ€™ flag also has a silver or metal pot on it.
According to the folklore Gudi Padwa celebrates the deafeat of Shakas by Shalivahan and the the long â€˜Gudiâ€™ symbolises victory and incite mothe material and spiritual prosperity. The women remain extremely busy at the kitchen as Maharashtrian delicacies from Shrikhand, Puran Poli to Sunth Paak, Aambe Dal is savoured by the people after the puja.Â Small and big businessmen conduct â€˜vaastu pujaâ€™. The day is also considered auspicious for opening new business establishments. Children rejoice at community processions dancing to Marathi songs in traditional attire.
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Farmers in the state plough the field on the day as it is belived this auspicious day will bring them good lick and great harvest in the coming agricultural season.
Several mythological incidents are associated with the festival, some of the most popular ones that are recited on the day are â€œtheory of creationâ€Â. It is also believed that on this day Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya after defeating King Ravana in Lanka.
The head of the family conduct a special puja making offering to lord Ganesha Lakshmi, Saraswati for the wellbeing of their family and to keep them away from calamities and difficulties. Â The offerings made to the deities consists of neem flowers, jaggery, soaked dal, honey, cumin seeds and the kinds that signifies a prosperous life.
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People hang a Toran made of mango leaves on the front door. They then decorate the doorsteps with red flowers. Rangolis with a swastika design are drawn. Rice powder, vermillion and turmeric are used to draw the Rangoli.