INDIA. MUMBAI: “Gudi Padwa,” the new year-” Shalivahan Shake 1944″ (Vikram Samvat 2079) as per the Hindu calendar, based on Shalivahan Shaka (King Shalivahan era) was celebrated with enthusiasm and jubilation with several Shobha yatras (pageants), floats and cultural programs organized on the occasions in Maharashtra and neighboring Goa.
“Gudi Padwa” is the first day (Pratipada of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) of the month “Chaitra” as per the Hindu calendar. The festival usually occurs in late March or early April, as per the Gregorian calendar.
As per mythology, Gudi Padwa is celebrated to mark the victory of Emperor Shalivahan over the demon Shakas and his return to his native Pratishthana (present-day Paithan in Aurangabad in Maharashtra). Some people believe that the Gudi Padwa is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) after 14 years of exile.
To welcome Shalivahan and Lord Ram, the people raise the “Gudis.” The Gudi is a flag tied to the top of a long bamboo stick with a bright, colorful silk scarf-like cloth. On top of the Gudi, one or more boughs of neem leaves, as a symbol of purification, and mango leaves, as a symbol of good luck, are attached with a garland of flowers and sugar crystals (Battasas). The bamboo is topped with an upturned bronze, silver, or copper pot, signifying victory.
It is also believed that Lord Brahma created the universe on this day, and the Gudi is the Brahma Dhwaj (Lord Brahma’s flag). It is also considered the Indra Dhwaj (flag of Lord Indra). The Gudi Padwa is also celebrated as the beginning of the spring season. Gudi Padwa generally takes place on the same day as Chaitra Navaratri in North India, Cheti Chand in Gujarat, Sajibu Nongma Panba in Manipur, Navreh in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ugadi, which is celebrated as the Telugu and Kannada New Year in the Deccan region of India.
With the lifting of Covid curbs, the people’s enthusiasm was at its peak. In Mumbai in Tardeo in south Mumbai, a 50 feet tall Gudi was hoisted. In Girgaum, a vast procession was organized in which nearly 15 floats and 151 women motor-bikers participated. Besides, physical and martial art games were scheduled. The floats were based on the themes such as the life and times of legendary singer late Lata Mangeshkar, environment protection, Samyukta Maharashtra Movement, etc. The star cast of the Marathi movie “Chandramukhi,” including Amrita Khanvilkar and Prajakta Mali, participated in the procession.
Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant, leaders Pandurang Sakpal, Ravindra Mirlekar, Rajkumar Bafna, Meena Kambli, and others participated in the program. Similarly, a 20 feet tall replica of Mumbadevi (goddess) was erected in the Mumbadevi in South Mumbai.
In Dadar, the Vedh Foundation organized lezim and motorbike rallies, in which over 150 women sporting saffron headgear participated. Similar Shobha yatras were organized in Vile Parle and neighboring Thane and Dombivali. The people visited temples and offered prayers.
The women wearing nine-yard sarees and turbans riding motorbikes, accompanied by dhol-tasha bands, lent the air of festivity to the atmosphere. Minister Chhagan Bhujbal hoisted Gudi at his farmhouse in Nasik in Central Maharashtra. A large number of people and party workers attended the program.
Also Read: The Lodha Committee Invites Claims for Refund From Duped Investors