Gudi Padwa (New Year) – Maharashtra
Gudi Padwa is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month to mark the beginning of the New year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar. In south India, the first day of the bright phase of the moon is called pāḍya.
Gudi Padwa 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.
This new moon day has a special significance in astronomy. The Sun is supposed to be in first point of Aries, (Hamal) which is the first sign of the zodiac and is a natural beginning of spring.
Being the first day of the first month of the year, Gudhi Padwa is the New Year’s Day for [Marathi people|Marathi]/ Maharashtrians] people. Also known as Ugadi in Telugu Speaking(Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) and Karnataka region, and people used to wish each other on this day.
On this festive day, people sweep their house clean and take time out to do some spring cleaning. They make rangoli designs on the doorsteps and everyone dresses in new clothes at the time of family gathering.
Traditionally, families are supposed to begin the festivities by eating the bittersweet leaves of the neem tree. Sometimes, a paste of neem leaves is prepared and mixed with dhaine (coriander seeds), gul/gur (known as jaggery in English), and tamarind. All the members of the family consume this paste, which is believed to purify the blood and strengthen the body’s immune system against diseases.
Maharashtrian families also make shrikhand and Poori or Puran Poli on this day. Konkanis make Kanangachi Kheer, a variety of Kheer made of sweet potato, coconut milk, jaggery, rice flour, etc. and Sanna.