Gudi Padwa is celebrated in the western part of India and comes from two words with ''Gudi'' signifying the emblem or flag of Lord Brahma and ''Padwa' referring to the first day of the moon.
The festival is also known as Samvatsar Padwo and is celebrated on the first day of the moon in the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar. Mainly celebrated by the people of Maharashtra and the Konkan region. It also marks the beginning of a new year.
As per Hindu mythology, it is said that on this day Lord Brahma created the universe. It is also said that Lord Brahma further created the concept of days, weeks, months and years on the day of Gudi Padwa. The festival is called Ugadi in South India and is considered to be the first day of the creation of the universe. This is why Lord Brahma is worshiped on this day. In North India, it marks the beginning of Chaitra Navratri.
Gudi Padwa also symbolizes Lord Rama's victory over Ravana. The festival commemorates the celebrations done for Lord Rama after his return to Ayodhya after completing 14 years of exile.
The Symbol of Gudi Padwa - A Gudi is a type of flag made using a long bamboo and a bright colourful cloth. The bamboo is covered with this cloth and decorated with neem and mango leaves and a garland of flowers. The bamboo is then covered with an inverted vessel made of silver or copper and this signifies the victory of good over evil. It is said that this ritual saves households from all types of evils and wards off negative energies.
How do people celebrate it? - People start their day by taking an oil bath, after which they wear new clothes and decorate their homes by making colorful rangolis. Prepare the Gudi and then do the pooja. The placing of gudi is also very significant. It is mainly high up on the balcony or terrace and at times on the entrance itself. Once the pooja is done, the prasad is distributed to everyone.
What’s on the menu?
Kesari Bhaat - Long-grain basmati rice fried in ghee and saffron, cooked with sugar until perfectly done, topped with fried dried fruits for a delectably balanced crunch.
Pal Payasam - It is an easy kheer made with rice, milk and sugar. It's delicious and full of nuts fried in ghee! Add fresh fruit to this for extra flavor. If you want to get creative, try making rice and jaggery-based kheers with other grains, like ragi or gehu, or with boiled lentils and jaggery for a healthy alternative!
Vaangi Baath - Vangi Baath is a delicious eggplant-flavored rice dish made with a homemade spice mix. It can be made for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Mango Rice - The delicious Mango Rice is a special dish of Ugadi. Its ingredients include Mango pieces, Rice and other spices. People eat this delicious food during lunch and dinner to conclude their meal on a sweet note.
Other popular dishes are prepared like Sabudana vada, Kothimbir Vadi, Poori Bhaji, Batata Vada and Masala Bhat.
To make things sweet, there are other delectable desserts like Shrikhand, Modak, Coconut Ladoo, Kesari Bhat and Basundi which are also commonly prepared.
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