India is celebrating the festival of Gudi Padwa on Saturday, 6 April this year. The day marks the traditional new year for Marathi Hindus and is therefore celebrated with great zeal and fervor in and around the state of Maharashtra.
The spring festival or Shukla Pratipada as it is called, is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra month, according to the Hindu calendar.
History & Significance
According to a popular belief, it was on the day of Gudi Padwa that Lord Brahma had created the universe.
Apart from this, it is said that it was on this day when Lord Rama returned to the land of Ayodhya after his victory over Ravana.
On this day, people decorate their houses with colorful rangolis, and Gudhi flags (the ones made from flowers, mango and neem leaves) and prepare traditional meals including Shrikhand and Puran Poli.
Street processions and dancing and food festivals are also organised to celebrate the arrival of spring. Delicacies like Kanangachi Kheer (a sweet dish made of sweet potato, coconut milk, jaggery and rice) are also prepared by Konkanis to mark the occasion.
One Festival, Different Names
The festival is known by different names in different regions of the country. Telugu Hindus celebrate the day as Ugadi, while the same occasion is celebrated as yugadi by the Konkani and Kannada Hindus in Karnataka. In Manipur, the festival is known as Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba.
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