This is one of the most important festivals for Marathis, as it is celebrated throughout the length and breadth of Maharashtra with immense passion and religious fervor. This regional Springtime festival marks the traditional New Year for Marathis all over the world. They dress-up beautifully in new dresses and traditional outfits like silk sarees, that makes the ambiance even more colorful. It is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month which is the first month of the Marathi Calendar. In many communities, it is the Baisakh month which is considered the first month of the year. If you are in Maharashtra during this time of the year, you get to see colorful Rangoli decorations in the houses and floral decorations, that look really beautiful and refreshing to the eyes. People take out huge processions in the street with the Orange Gudi flag by dancing and singing to the tunes of traditional Marathi folk songs and savoring the local delicacies and sweets. Hindus in Maharashtra celebrate this festival with pomp, gaiety and fervor across the state, and it is a happy atmosphere everywhere. Not just the Marathis, it is the Telugus and Sindhis too, that celebrate this day in their own traditional customs and rituals.
Food, Songs and Traditional Fashion
Food and fashion is always an integral part of any Indian festival, and Gudi Padwa is no different. Traditional food items and sweet dishes are prepared in every Hindu (Marathi) homes, especially sweet rice, puri, shrikhand, jaggery (gur), neem leaves and puran polis that are handmade by housewives and elderly women at house. Everyone dresses in new clothes, especially the women folk who wear new sarees in bright colors like red, orange and yellow which are considered auspicious. People clean their homes, at least a week ago and shop for new clothes from local clothing stores. During the day of the festival, processions are taken out in the local area with people dressing as Maratha warriors and the women dressing as beautiful princess. The colorful sarees in silk that the women wear are truly eye-catching, as the bright colors invokes that festive spirit and fervor, that comes in naturally during this time of the year. This regional festival belonging to Maharashtra also marks the celebration of good over evil. Overall, it’s a festive atmosphere that is full of colors and flavors.