Gudi Padwa

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{{Infobox holiday | holiday_name = Gudhi Padwa | type = Hindu | image = A new year procession on Gudi Padwa festival, Dombivli Maharashtra.jpg | caption = A Gudhi Padwa new year festive procession in Maharashtra | official_name = Gudhi Padwa | nickname = Hindu New Year | longtype = Religious (Hindu), social, cultural | observedby = Marathi and Konkani Hindus | date = māsa (amānta) / māsa (purnimānta), pakṣa, tithi | celebrations = 1 day | observances = | frequency = Annual | relatedto = Telugu Ugadi, Kannada Yugadi and other Hindu new year observations in Deccan and coastal Konkan regions | date2023 = 22 march

Explanatory note
Hindu festival dates

The Hindu calendar is lunisolar but most festival dates are specified using the lunar portion of the calendar. A lunar day is uniquely identified by three calendar elements: māsa (lunar month), pakṣa (lunar fortnight) and tithi (lunar day).

Furthermore, when specifying the masa, one of two traditions are applicable, viz. amānta / pūrṇimānta. Iff a festival falls in the waning phase of the moon, these two traditions identify the same lunar day as falling in two different (but successive) masa.

A lunar year is shorter than a solar year by about eleven days. As a result, most Hindu festivals occur on different days in successive years on the Gregorian calendar.

Gudhi Padwa is a spring-time festival that marks the traditional new year for Marathi and Konkani Hindus, but is also celebrated by other Hindus as well.[1] It is celebrated in and around Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu on the first day of the Chaitra month, to mark the beginning of the new year according to the lunisolar method of the Hindu calendar. Padava or paadvo comes from the Sanskrit word pratipada, which is the first day of a lunar fortnight. The spring festival is observed with colourful floor decorations called rangoli, a special Gudhi dvaja (a saree or piece of cloth garlanded with flowers, mango and neem leaves, sugar crystal garland called gathi, topped with upturned silver or copper vessels), street processions, dancing, and festive foods.[1][2]

Raising gudi is main ritual of Gudi Padwa

In Maharashtra, first day of the bright phase of the moon is called gudhi padwa (Marathi: गुढी पाडवा), pādyo (Konkani: पाडयो; Kannada: ಪಾಡ್ಯ; Telugu: పాడ్యమి, paadyami). Konkani Hindus variously refer to the day as सौसार पाडवो or सौसार पाडयो (sausāra pāḍawa / sausāra pāḍye), संसार (sansāra) being a corruption of the word संवत्सर (sanvastar). Telugu Hindus celebrate the same occasion as Ugadi, while Kannada Hindus in Karnataka refer to it as युगादि, ಯುಗಾದಿ (yugādi). The Sindhi community celebrates this day as Cheti Chand as the new year and observed as the emergence day of Lord Jhulelal. Prayers are offered to Lord Jhulelal and the festival is celebrated by making delicacies like Tahiri (sweet rice) and Sai Bhaji (spinach cooked with a sprinkle of chana dal).[3]

However, this is not the universal new year for all Hindus. For some, such as those in and near Gujarat, the new year festivities coincide with the five day Diwali festival.[4] For many others, the new year falls on Vaisakhi between 13 and 15 April, according to the solar cycle part of the Hindu lunisolar calendar and this is by far the most popular not only among Hindus of the Indian subcontinent but also among Buddhists and Hindus in many parts of southeast Asia.[4]


Gudhi means flag, erect flag on the houses as part of celebration in Maharashtra where its mainly celebrated. According to Kittel word belongs to South Indian language origin.[5] The word pāḍavā is derived from the Sanskrit word pratipad for the first day of each fortnight in a lunar month i.e. the first day on which the moon appears after the so-called "new moon" day (amāvāsya) and the first day after the full moon. A Gudhi is also hoisted on this occasion giving this festival its name. The term padva or padavo is also associated with balipratipad the third day of Diwali[6] which is another celebration that comes at the end of the harvesting season. Also, the people in the Konkan region worship the panchangam (almanac) of the new year.


Gudhi Padva signifies the arrival of spring and to the reaping of Rabi crops.[7] The festival is linked to the mythical day on which Hindu god Brahma created time and universe.[8] To some, it commemorates the coronation of Rama in Ayodhya after his victory over evil Ravana, or alternatively the start of Shalivahan calendar after he defeated the Huns invasion in the 1st century.[9] According to Anne Feldhaus, in rural Maharashtra the festival is linked to Shiva's dance and coming together of the community as they carry the Gudhi Kavads together to a Shiva temple.[10]

The guḍhī[edit]

A notable sight during Gudhi Padwa are the numerous gudi (or gudhi) arrangements at every household. It is a bright colourful silk scarf-like cloth tied at the top of a long bamboo. On top of it, one or more boughs of neem leaves and mango leaves are attached along with a garland of flowers. This arrangement is capped with a silver, bronze or copper pot (handi or kalash) signifying victory or achievement.[11][12] The whole arrangement is hoisted outside each household, typically to the right, or through a window or terrace. It is visible to everybody. Villages or neighbourhoods also come together and host a community Gudhi Kavad, which they carry together to the local Shiva temple.

Some temples are located on the top of hills, and groups work together to help reach the kavad to the top.[12]

The Gudhi Padwa festival marks the new year, but also celebrates victory of Maratha warriors in processions.

Some of the significances attributed to raising a Gudhi are as follows:

  • It symbolises the victory of King Shalivahana and was hoisted by his people when he returned to Paithan.[7]
  • Gudhi symbolises the Brahmadhvaj (translation: Brahma’s flag) mentioned in the Brahma Purana, because Lord Brahma created the universe on this day. It may also represent Indradhvaj (translation: the flag of Indra).[7]
  • Historically, the Gudhi symbolises Lord Rama’s victory and happiness on returning to Ayodhya after slaying Ravana. Since a symbol of victory is always held high, so is the gudhi (flag). It is believed that this festival is celebrated to commemorate the coronation of Rama post his return to Ayodhya after completing 14 years of exile.[7]
  • Gudhi is believed to ward off evil, invite prosperity and good luck into the house.[7]


Rangoli made on Gudhi Padwa

On the festive day, courtyards in village houses will be swept clean and plastered with fresh cow-dung. Even in the city, people take the time out to do some spring cleaning. Women and children work on intricate rangoli designs on their doorsteps, the vibrant colours mirroring the burst of colour associated with spring. Everyone dresses up in new clothes and it is a time for family gatherings.

Traditionally, families prepare a special dish that mixes various flavours, particularly the bitter leaves of the neem tree and sweet jaggery (gur, gul). Additional ingredients include sour tamarind and astringent dhane seeds. This, like the pacchadi recipe used in Ugadi festival, is eaten as a reminder of life's sweet and bitter experiences, as well as a belief that the neem-based mixture has health benefits.[11][13]

Maharashtrian families also make many other festive dishes, such as shrikhand and Poori or Puran Poli on this day.

Guḍhī Pāḍavā in other languages, states and people[edit]

Known as Guḍhī Pāḍavā ("Gudhee Paadavaa") in Maharashtra, this festival is also known as[14]

It is also celebrated as Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba in countries like Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia and other nations where there are lot of Hindus like Singapore and Malaysia. People prepare a variety of food and cuisine on this day and later climb the hillocks in the evening.

In Jammu and Kashmir,, the Kashmiri Hindu or Pundit community, also the Kashmiri Sikh community celebrate this Festival as Navreh, the start of New Lunar Year. A big thal viz a brass eating plate is filled with uncooked rice and the new Panchangam, the Kashmiri Hindu Ephemeris is placed in it. A little cooked rice, curds, salt, all in small cups, a clean Indian rupee note and a coin, a pen, some flowers, a golden bangle, a silver ornament, 3 or 5 walnuts are also placed in this Thal. Every one is expected to see this thal, first thing in the morning. Generally, the eldest lady of the household sees it first and then brings it in to show to all sleeping members of the household. Every one is expected to wear a new garment and the children are given some money to enjoy the festival. The lunch is a feast.

In Punjab, the new year is celebrated as Baisakhi falling mostly on 13 or 14 April, first day of month Baisakh of the Bikram Samavt or calendar.

in West Bengal this occasion is celebrated as Naba Barsha, in Assam as Bihu, in Kerala as Vishu and in Tamil Nadu as Puthandu. It is considered as the most auspicious day of the year.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Roshen Dalal (2010). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-14-341421-6.
  2. ^ "Gudi Padwa, Government of Maharashtra". Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  3. ^ "Cheti Chand 2021: History and Significance of Jhulelal Jayanti". News18. 13 April 2021. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  4. ^ a b Karen Pechilis; Selva J. Raj (2013). South Asian Religions: Tradition and Today. Routledge. pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-0-415-44851-2.
  5. ^ Gowda, Deve; Gowda, Javare (1998). Village Names of Mysore District: An Analytical Study. p. 55. ISBN 81-206-1390-2. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Balipratipada: Bali Puja 2020 date: Bali Pratipada story and significance". The Times of India. 15 November 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Significance of Gudhi Padwa". Hindu Jagriti Samiti. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Gudi Padwa 2021: Date, Time, History, Celebration, Significance". S A NEWS. 12 April 2021. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  9. ^ Gudi Padva, Government of Maharashtra Tourism Office
  10. ^ Anne Feldhaus (2003). Connected Places: Region, Pilgrimage, and Geographical Imagination in India. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 48–57, 72–83. ISBN 978-1-4039-8134-9.
  11. ^ a b William D. Crump (2014). Encyclopedia of New Year's Holidays Worldwide. McFarland. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-7864-9545-0.
  12. ^ a b Anne Feldhaus (2003). Connected Places: Region, Pilgrimage, and Geographical Imagination in India. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 48–57. ISBN 978-1-4039-8134-9.
  13. ^ Ernest Small (2011). Top 100 Exotic Food Plants. CRC Press. p. 411. ISBN 978-1-4398-5688-8.
  14. ^ "Chaitra Shukla Pratipada (Gudhi Padwa)". Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.
  15. ^ Gajrani, S. History, Religion and Culture of India. Vol. 3. p. 108.