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Gudi Padwa; The Festival of Hindu New Year in Maharashtra

Updated on February 28, 2017
radhikasree profile image

Radhika has great affinity for celebrating festivals. She is also curious to know how communities rejoice in the festivities.

Gudi | Source

Gudis got raised in Maharashtrian homes with vibrant colors and grace. Their traditional, ethnic look enriched hearts with delightful thoughts all around.

Gudi Padwa is a Marathi festival that falls on the first day of Hindu solar calendar of Chaitra month. Gudi Padwa arrives when spring is in its peak with trees bearing fruits and with flowers blooming in gardens. The word ‘Padwa’ is derived from Sanskrit that denotes the first day of the bright phase of the moon called Pratipada. The Hindu New Year is celebrated on different days in different regions of India in their regional names in spring.

Chaitra Navratri starts on this day for which 'Kalash Sthapana' is done. The custom of placing the Gudi that symbolizes victory was started by the ruler Shivaji Maharaj on this day of Hindu New Year. Since then, raising Gudis has become a significant part of the Marathas.

Display of vegetables
Display of vegetables | Source

Gudi's significance

A Gudi resembling a flag is made in each and every home in Maharashtra. A traditional silk cloth is tied to the tip of a long bamboo first. Then, neem leaves, mango twigs and flowers adorn it over which a silver or copper pot is placed in inverted position. The Gudi is then showcased outside for display.

There are many attributes associated with raising a Gudi. Some of them are:

  • Maharashtrians believe that raising a Gudi is the symbol of the victory of the great Maratha ruler Shivaji in his invasions. Gudi was the symbol of the people of King Shalivahana who won victory over the Sakas.
  • Gudi is Brahmadhwaj, meaning Lord Brahma's flag as he created universe on this day from the deluge. It is also said to be 'Indradhvaj', Lord Indra's flag.
  • In Ramayana, the Gudi symbolizes Lord Rama’s victory over the demon King Ravana. One belief is based on the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after 14 years of his forest life. Gudi was raised by his people during his coronation that led to celebrating this festival Gudi Padwa.
  • Raising Gudi would bring prosperity and fortune warding off evil, according to another belief.

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RangoliPuran Poli
Rangoli | Source
Puran Poli
Puran Poli | Source


Festivities start from the eve of this auspicious day, Gudi Padwa. Women put Rangolis beside their homes and make delicacies Shrikhand and Puran Poli. Also shopping is done on a broad range from vegetables to ornaments as part of the celebrations.

Herein Mumbai, people go on a procession displaying fruits and vegetables accompanied by traditional band. Men and women dressed traditionally reflect on the rich cultural heritage of Maharashtra. During night, lamps are lit on the premises of each and every society welcoming the harvest festival, Gudi Padwa.

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Gudi Padwa

© 2015 Radhika Sreekanth


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    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 2 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Yes Vellur, Gudi Padwa is really colorful with Rangoli, sweets and girls dressed in colors. Thanks for commenting.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 2 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks Ruby for the heads up. These colorful decorations(Rangoli) brighten the minds and bring happiness.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub about the Gudi Padwa. The decorations are very beautiful and it is a great colorful celebration.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I envy you for the warmth of your country. It is freezing here and snowing. This is a lovely hub. I took a look at the designs in the front of the houses for the festival, beautiful! Thank you for sharing your part of our world. Voted up..