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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gudi Padwa Celebrations.

We celebrated Gudi Padwa the day before (19th March 07) with full swing. Being the first day of the week , we had an off and it was a welcome holiday.

We used a bright coloured Gudi this year and pooja was performed thereafter.
Enjoyed home made gulab jamun and a typical maharashtrian lunch for the day.

About Gudi Padwa:
Gudi Padwa is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month. Gudi Padwa is celebrated as the New Year day by Maharashtrians.
Houses are cleaned prior to the festival. Colourful rangoli designs are drawn at entrances. New clothes are worn on this day. There is a family gathering and Maharashtrian delicacies are prepared for everyone. The Maharashtrians make puran poli or sweet rotis, soonth pak and usal.
On this day, gudis are hung outside the houses or in the localities.
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.

Some Maharashtrians see the gudis as a symbol of victory associated with the conquests of the Maratha forces lead by the great hero Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Gudis are also displayed as they are expected to ward off evil and invite prosperity and good luck into the house.

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).

A bright green or yellow cloth adorned with brocade (zari) is tied to the tip of a long bamboo over which gathi (a type of sweet), neem leaves, a twig of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers is tied. This is then hoisted by placing a silver or copper pot placed in the inverted position over it. Beautiful designs with special powder of soft, white stone (rangolis) are drawn on the floor in front of it. Everyone eagerly waits to usher in the new year. Then uttering meaning, ‘I offer obeisance to the flag of Lord Brahma’ one should ritualistically worship the gudi with a resolve. Since Lord Brahma created the universe on this day, this flag is called ‘the flag of Brahma’ (Brahmadhvaj) in the scriptures. Some also refer to it as ‘the flag of Indra’ (Indradhvaj). On Gudi Padwa, you will find gudis hanging out of windows or otherwise prominently displayed in traditional Maharashtrian households.

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