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Exploring the Symbolism Behind the Gudi Padwa Festival

Gudi Padwa is a Hindu festival celebrated by Marathi and Konkani Hindus to mark the beginning of the Marathi New Year. It is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm, especially in Maharashtra and Goa, where it is widely popular. The festival is also known as ‘Chaitra Shukla Pratipada since it is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra, which usually falls between March and April. 

This year, Gudi Padwa will be celebrated on 22nd March 2023. 


About Gudi Padwa

Gudi Padwa takes its name from two elements: “Gudi,” a symbol of Lord Brahma, and “Padwa,” denoting the first day of a fourteen-day lunar cycle. As per beliefs, people celebrate this day by hoisting a Gudi at home to keep evil spirits away and bring luck and prosperity. 

A Gudi flag is made out of tying a yellow cloth decorated with mango leaves and red flowers to a bamboo stick, on which an upside-down copper or silver pot is placed. This Gudi is hoisted at the home entrance or on the terrace.

History and Significance of Gudi Padwa

As per Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma created the universe on this day after a devastating flood that wiped everything of its existence. Gudi Padwa is known as ‘Ugadi’ in South India and is believed to be the first day of the universe’s creation. 

Another Hindu belief says that Gudi Padwa celebrates Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana, commemorating his return to Ayodhya after a 14-year exile. This makes the festival a celebration of good over evil. Gudi Padwa has historical significance as well. It marks the victory of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj over the Mughals.


Why is Gudi Padwa Celebrated?

Gudi Padwa is a harvest festival that marks the transition from winter to spring and the end of the rabi crops. The festival is also a celebration of the inception of the Hindu New Year and the beginning of spring. The reaping of mangoes and other tropical fruits takes place to mark the arrival of spring and pave the way for summer.

Gudi is a symbol of prosperity and the creation of the universe by Lord Brahma. During Gudi Padwa, people offer prayers to the Gudi in the hopes that the coming year will bring peace, prosperity, happiness, and good fortune. Homes are decorated with intricate rangolis and flower petals to symbolise life’s beauty and new beginnings.


Celebrations and Rituals

Gudi Padwa is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and joy. On this day, rituals of Gudi Padwa start with an oil bath followed by prayers. The Marathi community ties a Gudi outside the house, which is the symbol of Lord Brahma and worships it, hoping that the new year will bring much luck, happiness, and peace. People decorate their homes with colourful flowers and vibrant rangoli. 

Families dress in traditional attire and visit the temple for prayers. Women prepare sweets and traditional festive dishes, including Sunth Paak, Shrikhand, Puran Poli, and Gudi Padwa Prasad, a bittersweet Prasad made using neem leaves and jaggery.

The elder members of the family gift money, clothes, and other items to the younger members as a sign of spreading happiness and joy. People exchange sweets and donate to the needy. The day is also marked by joyous street processions known as Prabhat Pheri.

How do I Witness the Celebration? 

The best way to witness the authentic celebration of this Marathi festival would be in Maharashtra. You can plan a trip to the capital city and stay at any of the top-rated family hotels in Mumbai. OYO Rooms warmly welcome you and ensure you do not miss out on the happy celebrations. 

OYO hotels offer you a comfortable, relaxing stay to rejuvenate after an ecstatic day of celebrating Gudi Padwa with the people of Mumbai. You can choose from various OYO hotels, from OYO Rooms, which offer affordable, budget stays, to Townhouse Oak which offers luxurious accommodations.

Also, to truly experience the fervour and zeal, you can visit the top sightseeing in Dombivli Ganesh Mandir and participate in the famous Shobha Yatra or experience the Girgaon Gudi Padwa rally to see women taking charge, wearing traditional Maharashtrian clothes, and taking out a bike rally. Take advantage of the delicious Gudi Padwa feast that will be available at temples and restaurants.


Gudi Padwa is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion. The festival is rich in symbolism and represents the triumph of good over evil, the beginning of the Marathi New Year, and the transition from winter to spring. 

The festival celebrates new beginnings, hope, and good fortune. It is a way for people to come together and spread happiness and joy, wishing for a prosperous and peaceful year ahead. Gudi Padwa is a unique festival with great cultural and spiritual significance for the Hindu community. 

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