Gudi Padwa: Celebrating The Hindu New Year

The essence of Gudi Padwa

Vasant Ritu revives Prakriti and is the epitome of new beginnings. During this season of new life, we’re reminded of the beauty of creation and the fact that hardship is always followed by ease. These learnings are not to be forgotten and hence are honored on the occasion of Gudi Padwa. This day commemorates the creation of the universe by Lord Brahma and the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya upon defeating the demon-king Ravana.

Gudi Padwa, which falls on the first day of Chaitra (the first month of the Hindu calendar), is a traditional Hindu new year for Konkani and Marathi Hindus. Analogously, Ugadi, celebrated by the people of Karnataka, also marks the beginning of nature’s annual cycle. Even though it’s celebrated in other parts of India, like Kashmir, Punjab, and Assam, its enthusiasm in Maharashtra and Karnataka is unmatched!


Rangoli

Let the celebrations begin!

This auspicious morning is filled with a rejuvenating aura. Families wake up early, perform Snana followed by Abhyanga, wear traditional clothes, and begin preparing for the festivity. Children carve out rangolis at the entrance while adults decorate the entrances with mango leaves to invite prosperity into homes.

The “Gudhi” of Gudi Padwa literally translates to “flag” and is a metaphor for victory. This is no ordinary flag. Gudhi is decorated with a bright, colorful silk-like sari on a bamboo stick. To this, boughs of mango or neem leaves are attached with a garland of flowers. The final touch includes capping the Gudhi with a Kalash to signify victory. Creative? I know! The Gudhi is then worshipped with the remembrance of achievements and an expression of gratitude. Truly, an incredible way to start off your new year!

Toran

Rituals and Traditions of Gudi Padwa

Adding to that, Nidhi, an Amrutam Community member, tells us about a family ritual where all the members of her family drink a glass of Neem juice on the day of Padwa to remain disease-free throughout the year. Despite the fact that we may not enjoy the sound of this notion or the taste of this beverage, this cleansing exercise can be really beneficial in removing toxins from our systems! Thank you, Nidhi. 😊

Purvaja, a member of our Amrutam Family, describes her society as being a replica of the “Gokul Dham society” from the famous Indian sitcom “Taarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma.” All her neighbors celebrate Gudi Padwa with zeal, irrespective of cultural differentiations, and even prepare “Puran Poli” together! We asked Purvaja to share the recipe for this incredible Maharashtrian delicacy with our Amrutam family, and here it is!


The Famous Puran Poli

Recipe

Puran” refers to the inner sweet stuffing, and “Poli” refers to the outer layer that encloses this stuffing.

It’s a two-step process where we first prepare the Puran.

For it, we begin by

  • Soaking 1.5 cups of chana dal for an hour
  • After draining off the water, transfer the dal to a pressure cooker and add turmeric as per appearance (output should be golden yellow), 1.5 tsp of ghee, and 3 cups of water.
  • We cook it on a medium flame for the standard 3 whistles and drain it if there’s any excess water left.
  • Take out your “kadhai” and transfer the dal to it with 1.5 cups of jaggery.
  • Mix, mix, mix.
  • When a smooth paste of dal and jaggery is obtained, add 1 tsp of ghee and half a spoon of cardamom powder.
  • Cook this in a pan for approximately 1 minute to ensure we do not overcook it.
  • Upon cooling the mixture, grease your palms with ghee and begin preparing balls of Puran.

Plan A: Mission Accomplished

For Poli, we first prepare our dough using wheat flour, all-purpose flour, turmeric, salt, and oil.

  • Knead the dough properly to ensure proper mixing.
  • Next, grease the dough with oil and leave it for 2 hours to rest.
  • Before we begin preparing our Poli, knead the dough again.
  • Make balls of equal size from the dough and keep them aside.

Now for the final step! Spread Puran between two tortillas of Poli and seal them together from the border using your fingers. Once done, roll the tortillas lightly and cook them in a pan on a high flame till they get the golden yellow hue. Yay! We’re done.

Padwa’s Traditional Attire

Fun-Fact: Did you know that the Nauvari sari is the traditional attire of Marathi women?

Nauvari translates to “nine yards” and has a historical context. It’s said that during the Maratha rule, female and male warriors fought hand-in-hand during wars, but doing so while wearing a sari was inconvenient. Therefore, a modification was introduced where the sari was made to resemble a male trouser, and movement was facilitated. Another instance that shows Marathi women never back down! Unfortunately, not a lot of women wear Nauvari saris on Padwa these days. Let’s change this and be different this year. Let’s not forget our cultural roots and preserve our legacy.

As for men, they wear dhoti-kurtas along with Kolhapuri chappals to complete the look. We’d love to see how all of you get ready on the day of Padwa. Share your pictures on Instagram with #GudiPadwaWithAmrutam! 😊


Woman wearing Nauvari Sari

Gudi Ka Tyauhaar

बुने हुए सपने , बुनी हुई यादो का मल्हार,
कोयल की बोली में शुरु हुआ गुड़ी का त्यौहार|

Woven dreams, beats of woven memories,
The festival of Gudi started with the bid of the cuckoo.

मीठे-मीठे पकवानों से सज़ा रसोई का द्वार,
मीठे अरमानों से किया नये वर्ष का श्रंगार
|

The door of the kitchen was decorated with sweet dishes,
New year’s decorations are done with sweet wishes.

स्वच्छ निर्मल आसमान में उड़ती पतंग,
नए जीवन की उड़ान में भी हो वही तरंग
|

A kite flying in the clear sky
The same wave should be in charge of the flight of a new life.

कल-कल छल-छल कर रहा नदी का जल,
ऐसे ही निर्मल बीते नव वर्ष का हर पल|

The water of the river is tricking you,
May every moment of the new year pass with such softness.

Team Amrutam wishes everyone good fortune, prosperity, and abundance! May we all be blessed with success in our endeavors this Gudi Padwa, and may this new year bring infinite happiness to our homes.References:

Significance, history, and origin of Gudi Padwa

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