India’s magnitude lies in its diversity of religions its customs, traditions, and values which is unique and beautiful in its own way. Thanks to our diversified country that has a great streak of festivals every month, jotted on our list of the calendar. So is New year, which for many of us is the first day of January, but our traditional form of celebrations ranges from state to state, varying from the beginning of the year. The southern states of India, especially Maharashtra relishes the day of New year as “Gudi Padwa”, that is a grand way to welcome the prospectus of New Year.
The word “padwa” having its origin from the world of Sanskrit, means the very next day after the moon. “Gudi Padwa” is a Marathi name which actual meaning is Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. The most prominent warrior king, Shivaji Maharaj was the one who symbolized this day as the win “Vijaya Dhwaj” by commencing the new year with grand celebrations. Henceforth, Shivaji’s influence of celebration leads this day as a mainstream occasion in Maharashtra. This day people do Kalash Sthapana to celebrate this authentic day.
In the Maharashtrian way, the first day of the year is auspicious and sacred and is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra month, in accordance with Hindu Calendar. The significance of this day also marks the celebration of Harvest in India. That means, the Harvest of Rabi crops has come to an end and the beginning of the year is welcomed by sowing fresh fruits like mangoes have on a great occasion fortunate day.
This day has many accounts of legendary tale attached to it. It is also believed that Lord Brahma had created the universe on this very day. The devotees of Lord Brahma take a sacred oil bath on this auspicious day. Also, some people believe that the day marks the coronation ceremony of Lord Rama, who had returned to Ayodhya after spending 14 years exile. In addition to these beliefs, not many people know about another auspicious event happened this day, the Sakas registered a victory over the Huns.
The key rituals performed in this day is done as a token of worship by having a holy bath, wearing new clothes. Followed by adorning the drawing of colorful Rangolis in the front gate or main entrance. To decorate the house, flowers are used to illuminate the houses with vibrancy and colorful flowers. A new Kalash is made up of copper or silver and covered with colors and saffron cloth and hoisted upside down in the entrance. After all the decorations and rituals are done, neem and jaggery’s Prasad is made.
Gudi is celebrated in Maharashtra but there are other states that celebrated the occasion with utmost joy. States like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka celebrate Ugadi as the commencement of the new year. While in Sindhis, Cheti Chand is celebrated. In Kerala, “Vishu” is celebrated as the solar cycle of the lunisolar as the first day of the month called Medam. In Sikhism, Vaisakhi is celebrated as the birth of the Khalsa and marks the birth of the Khalsa way of living life in the Sikh region.