The bright coloured silk cloth tied on a bamboo, adorned with need leaves and flowers are notable visuals during Gudi Padwa. Hoisting of Gudi signifies warding off evil and bringing in good luck and prosperity. The festival falls on the first day of Hindu month of Chaitra and marks the beginning of a New Year. According to mythology, it is the day when Lord Brahma created the Universe and hence is one of the most auspicious days of the year. While for some people it is the day when Lord Rama was coronated in Ayodhya after his victory over Ravana. In 2018, Gudi Padwa falls on March 18.
Significance of hoisting Gudi:
- It is believed that ‘Gudi’ symbolises ‘Brahmadhvaj’ meaning Brahma’s flag. According to Brahma Purana, Lord Brahma created the universe on Gudi Padwa.
- It is also believed that Gudi Padwa is celebrated to commemorate the coronation of Lord Rama post his return from 14 years of exile.
How to hoist a Gudi?
- Tie a yellow, green or red cloth on the tip of a bamboo stick.
- Tie neem and mango leaves around the cloth. Neem leaves are used for purification while mango leaves for a fresh beginning.
- Tie a garland and sugar crystals on the leaves.
- Put an inverted copper or silver pot over the cloth. Draw a symbol of a swastika with kumkum on it.
- Now place the Gudi slightly tilted on the right side of the entrance of your home or window.
- Family members recite mantras and offer bhog to Gudi.
- The puja gets complete the next day when family members drink the water from the inverted pot.
In Maharashtra, as a reminder to life’s sweet and bitter experiences, families prepare a special dish that includes various flavours and is made of neem leaves (bitter), jaggery (sweet), coriander seeds (astringent) and tamarind (sour).
Rangoli and Flowers
Drawing colourful rangolis is an integral part of the festival. Rangolis symbolises positivity and are made to welcome good spirits of the New year. The entrance of the house is decorated with torans and colourful garlands marking the beginning of the spring season. Rangoli and flowers bring in prosperity and wards off evil.