Its festivals galore in India. With the onset of Spring, several parts of the country celebrated the season with different traditions. In the state of Maharashtra, people get together and celebrate Gudi Padwa which marks the beginning of the traditional New Year for Marathi Hindus. The festival is falling on April 6, Saturday this year and will usher in the onset of Spring. Gudi Padwa is associated with reaping of Rabi crops.
During this time, people clean their houses and erect Gudis, which literally means flags that are put as an arrangement in the house. Women wear Nauvaree sarees which is a traditional nine-metre drape. People also make rangolis on the floor and also draw colourful patterns that are called Kolamulus. The Gudis are made of silk cloth or scarf that are tied at the top of a long bamboo stick. It is decorated with garlands and boughs of neem and mango leaves.
A Kalash (vessel) of copper, silver or gold is then placed on the top of the structure as this signifies victory and achievement. It sheds happiness that Lord Ram had defeated Ravana. It also signifies the Brahmadhvaj, as mentioned in the Brahma Purana. It is believed that the universe was created by Lord Brahma on this day. Gudi is also believed to bring prosperity and good luck into a household besides warding off evil.
The festival is celebrated as cleaning houses, decorating and making rangolis. Both men and women wear new clothes to celebrate this auspicious day while women also wear traditional jewellery called ‘dejhor’. Besides this, Maharashtrians also make a number of dishes to celebrate this festival including Shrikhand, Poori and Pooran Poli.
Some traditional dishes that are savoured on Gudi Padwa:
Puranpoli is a traditional Maharashtrian dish that is served in almost every festival celebrated in the state. It flatbread stuffed with jaggery and chickpeas, cardamom, saffron and nutmeg and is one of the most savoured delicacies in India.
Originally made in Maharashtra, Shrikhand is sweet flavoured yoghurt that is served especially during Gudi Padwa is loaded with the flavours of fruits like mangoes, berries and melons along with adding dry fruits to make it rich and heavy.
Aam Panna brings with it the season of mangoes. With the New Year, Marathis also celebrate the arrival of Spring. Aam panna has a unique tangy and sweet flavour to it which is made by boiling raw mango and mixing the pulp with sugar, spices and water.
Sabudana khichdi and vada
People prepare khichdi using peanuts, ghee and sabudana on this day. Some people also make some fried sabudana vada, that is a popular snack outside Maharashtra too.
Thalipeeth is a multigrain masala roti that is infused with flavours. It is delicious as well as contains a high nutritional value.
Happy Gudi Padwa!