When is Gudi Padwa 2022? History and Significance of Maharashtra New Year

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The Maharashtrian festival Gudi Padwa, also known as Samvastar Padyo, is an auspicious occasion celebrated on the first day of Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar. This year it will be celebrated on April 2, Saturday. This festival signifies the arrival of spring and coincides with the beginning of the New year for Marathi and Konkani Hindus, especially famous in parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. With vibrant adornments, Gudi Padwa witnesses dancing, street processions and tasty festival delicacies.

On Gudi Padwa, people start the occasion with a customary oil bath, after which they decorate their homes and slip into new clothes. Rangoli, the main attraction of the event, is made using flowers and colours. In the end, the gudi is put at the main entrance of the house or on a window.

History

According to Hindu mythology, the term Gudi Padwa originates from two words ‘gudi’, meaning flag or symbol of Lord Brahma and ‘padwa’ implies the first day of the phase of the moon. For that reason, in Maharashtra, one can notice the flag in most of the houses celebrating the festival. It is also said that Lord Brahma had created the universe on this day, introducing the concept of days, weeks, months and years.

In Andhra Pradesh, this festival is also well-known with the name of Ugadi, assumed to be the first day of the creation of the universe. Hence, Lord Brahma is worshipped on this special day widely.

Significance

This occasion holds a lot of significance in Maharashtra. Rabi crops are reaped after this celebration which also symbolises the arrival of the spring season. Moreover, Gudi is said to be a reminder of victory. According to many people, the day honours the coronation of Lord Rama after his return to Ayodhya, winning the battle against Ravana.

There is another explanation, wherein rural Maharashtra, Anne Feldhaus, President of the Association for Asian Studies, observed that the Gudi Padwa festival is related to the coming together of the community and Lord Shiva’s dance. The devotees carry Gudi Kavads to a nearby or famous Shiv temple.

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