How Gudi Padwa is Celebrated in India?


Gudi Padwais the Marathi and Konkani New Year celebrations. Konkani Hindus and Marathi celebrate it during the springtime. Hindus follow the lunisolar calendar and this Hindu festival marks the beginning of this particular celebration. It is known as Ugadi in Telugu and Yugadi in Kannada.

Why is this day celebrated as Gudi Padwa?

There are many reasons why Gudi Padwa Festival is celebrated on this particular day. Some of the below given reasons included are:

  • The English meaning of Gudi is a flag or a Dhwaj. The erect flag is a part of the celebration and the term Padva (festival) is associated with it often. Gudi Padwa celebrations signifies the ripening and reaping of the Rabi crops.
  • The Gudi Padwa celebrations is linked to the mythical day when the Hindu God Brahma created the time and Universe. The flag is known as the flag of Brahma and is cast high as a symbol of good luck according to Brahma Purana. Lord Brahma is said to be born from the lotus that sprouts on Sri Vishnu’s navel. Lord Brahma is involved in a variety of activities that are almost always beyond the perception of the human mind. It is often believed that on this day, Lord Brahma begins creating this Universe, this material plane is known as the day of the Gudi Padwa Muharat.
  • It is also that day, when Rama was crowned to the throne after he became victorious from defeating Ravana. It is said that after killing Ravana, Rama returned to his abode in Ayodhya on this day. Rama, Sita and Lakshmana returned back on this day and Ayodhya became the gamut of activity once again with the coming back of Rama. The children born during this time when Ram left home were 14 year old now. Ravana was once known to have been cursed by a sage that Ravan would not be able to touch any woman without their consent, that would dissolve his heads undoubtedly.
  • Gudi Padwa celebrations is also marked as the start of the Shalivahan Calendar after the defeat of the Huns in the first century. Shalivahan was an emperor of ancient India. He ruled Pratisthana and is believed to have been a Satavahana King.
  • Gudi Padwa celebrations are also marked by the dance of Shiva, so during this time some people prefer visiting the Shiva temple. The term Gudi is often used for the silken scarves tied during this time of the year. Village communities come together and celebrate Gudi Padwa with the “Gudi Kavad.”

Major Festivities Observed

The major festivities observed during this period of time often is not limited but arbitrarily includes,

  1. People clean their houses with cow dung.
  2. Intricate Rangoli Designs are placed in the main Pooja place and on the doors.
  3. The family members wear new clothes. Some people also buy gold ornaments during this time of the year.
  4. A concoction of Gur (jaggery) and bitter Neem leaves is prepared and usually consumed by everybody in the family. They also mix tamarind and “Dhane seeds” as an astringent into it.
  5. Maharashtrian prepare a very healthy sweet dish called Pooran Pohli on the occasion of Gudi Padva.

This Gudi Padwa celebrations is also celebrated in the NorthEast region and is known as Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba in Manipur and is also celebrated in Cambodia, Burma, Bhutan and Nepal where there are many Hindus around.

In Kashmiri Pandits, this Hindu festival is celebrated as Navreh. A big brass eating plate is placed on the floor and a little of uncooked rice, cooked rice, dal, curds, salt and a crisp currency note, with coins and a pen, some flower garlands, a golden bangle, some silver ornaments and the walnuts are placed on the plate.

States of India Separate Names of Gudi Padva
Kashmir Navreh
Assam Bihu
Punjab Baisakhi
Kerala Vishu
West Bengal Nobo Borsho
Manipur Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba
Tamil Nadu Putuhandu
Konkan Lands Samvatsar Padvo

The Central Themes used in Gudi Padwa

There are a few centralised themes around Gudi Padwa. Gudi Padwa is a beautiful Hindu festival and is celebrated keeping in mind a few major figures or figurines. These include,

  1. Handi
  2. Cloth flag
  3. Flowers
  4. Misri or Sugar Crystals

Generally, these are like the basic emblems that are used by the people to proclaim the Gudi Padwa.

  1. Handi or the pot: The Handi or the pot is a suitable device and is often used to denote the “Prana Kalash.” Prana Kalash is a signifier of life, and the living, thus the fluid forms are stored in the house in this kalash. Even the Kalash houses the storage of important items during the olden times.
  • Cloth Flag: This is a signifier of many things- yellow, green and saffron colours are often used.

Yellow represents Sato Guna

Green represents the entire life

Saffron represents Fire element

Yellow often is used to represent pure fire.

Mango leaves are green and represent immortality for life. They are quite popular and often are used above the Kalash (or pot) as an emblem of immortality.

  • Flowers: Red flowers are used. Red Hibiscus is very important since red colours are intimidating for the negatively attuned spirits.
  • Sugar Crystals: Sugar crystals are large and crystalline. They are called Misri in Hindi. So Misri is very important in every Hindu festival and is given in replacement of jaggery or palin powdery sugar.

Thus, Gudi Padwa is the major Hindu festival of the Konkan coast and the Marathis. Pooron Poli tastes yummy and the day promotes peace. Usually this day is celebrated as the New Year by all across the country. The Indians have a solar lunar calendar that is observed from olden times.

According to this calendar, Chaitra is the first month of the Year though for some others across the country Boishakh or Vaishakh is the first month of the year like the Bengalis and Assamese races.