Gudi Padwa celebrates the beginning of the traditional Hindu year and the day of the festival is the first day of the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar. It is the Marathi name for festival Chaitra Shukla Pratipada, which is celebrated to welcome the Hindu New Year. This day also marks the descent of the spring season and thus the festival is a colorful one which is celebrated in most part of country with great pomp and show. The celebrations start even before sunrise when people take the auspicious bath after applying oil to their body. The main entrance of the house is decorated with mango leaves and red flowers which are considered favorable for this occasion. Prior to hoisting the Gudi, Lord Brahma is worshipped. He is worshipped because on this particular day he created the universe out of chaos, for which he is also known as the creator of the world.
Importance of Gudi Padwa
When the worship of Lord Brahma is complete, the Gudi is hoisted and Lord Vishnu is invoked to shower his blessings upon the worshipper and his family. The day is a significant one and there are a number of reasons behind it. It is said that Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after slaying Ravana and his allies on this day and the people of Ayodhya celebrated it as the beginning of a new era. History also states that the Gudi is hoisted on this particular day to commemorate the number of victories of Shivaji Maharaj. Thus, considered as the symbol of victory or a victory flag, the Gudi is adorned with mango leaves, a yellow silk cloth and a garland adornment along with red flowers as these things are considered auspicious. Rangolis are also made around the Gudi and at the entrance of houses.
History also has it that the Shakas defeated the Huns on this particular day. Hence, this day is also the first day of the Shalivahan calendar as this was the day king Shalivahan vanquished the Hun dynasty. The most important event though which makes this day so special is that, according to the Brahma Puran, this is the day when Lord Brahma created the universe and Satyug began. The day is also considered auspicious because the divine consciousness which emanates during the early sunrise, if absorbed, lasts longer.