The first Holy festival which marks the beginning of the New Year.
It is known as Gudi Padwa (in Maharashtra), Ugadi (in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh). [In other parts of country it is celebrated during Nau Roz (Kashmir), Baisakhi (Punjab), Cheti Chand (Sindhi), Naba Barsha (Bengal), Goru Bihu (Assam), Puthandu (Tamil Nadu), Vishu (Kerala)]
As per Brahma Purana, on this very day Lord Brahma created the Universe. Therefore, for Hindus, this day carries special importance. The day is celebrated with an auspicious bath, followed by decorating the doorway with a ‘toran’, performing ritualistic worship and hoisting the Gudi (flag of brahmadev / brahmadvaj).
Significance of Gudi Padwa:
Gudi Padwa is especially dedicated to the worship of Lord Brahma. Many legend states that this festival is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Rama over Bali.
The gudi, Brahma’s flag (Brahmadhvaj) is hoisted in every house as a symbolic representation of Rama’s victory and happiness on returning to Ayodhya after slaying Ravan. Since a symbol of victory is always held high, so is the gudi (flag).
On this day, the sun takes a position right over the point of intersection of the meridians and the equator, and marks the Vasanta ritu that is the spring season.
In terms of agriculture, since India is mainly an agrarian country, festivals and celebrations are often associated with seasons and harvesting of crops. Gudi Padwa or the Maharasthrian New Year marks the end of one harvesting season along with the beginning of another. The soil is also taken up for ploughing on the auspicious occasion of the Gudi Padwa.
When it comes to astrology, the significance of the Maharashtrian New Year lies in the fact that Gudi Padwa is among the three and a half sacred dates or “Sade-Teen Muhurtas”.
Gudi padwa, Akshay trutiya and Dasra (Vijayadashmi) each make up one, and the first day of the Hindu lunar month of Kartik comprises half of the total three and a half auspicious days. The special feature of these three and a half auspicious days is that unlike other days when one has to choose an auspicious moment to perform a ritual, in contrast, on these auspicious days one does not need to, as every moment of these days is auspicious.
Traditionally, families are supposed to begin the festivities by eating the bittersweet leaves of the neem tree. Sometimes, a paste of neem leaves is prepared and mixed with ajwain, gul (called ‘jaggery’ in English), and tamarind. All the members of the family consume this paste, which is believed to purify the blood and strengthen the body’s immune system against diseases.
One festival, so many names! one festival, so many significances! IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA 🙂
HAPPY GUDI PADWA TO ALL OF YOU! HAVE A GREAT DAY!