Also known as Gudi Padva, the festival of Gudi Padwa marks the beginning of the civil year for the Hindus.
The festival is most commonly celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. Surprisingly, the festival is also celebrated as the New Year day for the Marathi community, Telugu New Year (known traditionally as Ugadi), Kannada New Year (known as Yugadi), Sindhi New Year (Cheti Chand), and Kashmiri New Year (Navreh).
Gudi Padwa 2020, as called in the state of Maharashtra falls within the first few days in the month of Chaitra (according to the Hindu calendar). According to the Gregorian calendar, the festival falls in between the months of March and April.
Legends associated with the festival
People pray to Lord Vishnu during the festival. According to the legend, Lord Vishnu asked the Gods to keep his loved ones healthy and successful.
It is believed that at dusk, or just before sunrise, the Sun is extremely propitious, and so people pray to the lord to pray for prosperity. Lovers pray to Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu to keep their love eternal.
It is also believed that on the day of Gudi Padwa, Lord Rama, the human incarnation of Lord Vishnu, came back to his kingdom in Ayodhya after killing the devil ruler Ravana and saving Goddess Sita. The festival is symbolic of Rama’s victory over Ravana and also marks Lord Ram’s coronation following his return after 14 years of exile.
Customs and Rituals of the festival
As the tradition goes, people place a Gudi on the right side of the main entrance as a symbol of victory against evil, for good luck and prosperity.
Devotees get up and bathe before dawn to try to imbibe the purity of the Sun and become more aware of their true selves.
Family members together to clean the house and prepare for the spring season. Making of rangolis is also a popular tradition. People also dress up in new clothes.
Special foods are also prepared to celebrate the festival with grandeur. This includes a Maharashtrian dish known as Puranpoli, Aam Panna; a special drink made from mango pulp, Sabudana Khichdi, among others. A special sweet known as Shrikhand, which is eaten with a type of Indian bread known as Poori, is prepared to celebrate the joyous festival.
On Gudi Padwa, as part of the customs, friends and family members visit each other, and pray to Lord Vishnu to strengthen and deepen their bonds.
The Lord of the first day of the New Year is considered to be the Lord for the entire year. For the year 2020, the Lord of the Hindu Year will be the planet Saturn.
The New Moon day on Gudi Padwa is significant as during this time, the sun is in the first zodiac sign, i.e Aries. The festival also marks the beginning of the spring season. It is also one of the most important harvest festivals in India, especially in Punjab and Haryana where it is celebrated as Baisakhi.Consult our expert astrologers online to learn more about the festival and their rituals.