Tag Archives: Rangoli

Gudi Padwa: The Maharashtrian New Year

Wishes for Gudi Padwa P.C.: https://goo.gl/A9hxi2

Wishes for Gudi Padwa
P.C.: https://goo.gl/A9hxi2

In the hindu lunar calendar, Chaitra is the first month and the first day of it marks the beginning of a New Year for many Indian states. The month begins with a new moon day around March or April, which turns new year for many hindu households. States like Tamil Nadu call this New Year as Chaitrai Vishu or Puthandu while the same is Ugadi in Karnataka or Sansar Padwa in Goa. In case of the state of Maharashtra, this New Year that marks the beginning of spring is referred to as Gudi Padwa.

Gudi Padwa celebrations P.C.: https://goo.gl/ODp3Id

Gudi Padwa celebrations
P.C.: https://goo.gl/ODp3Id

An important and significant day of celebration for Maharashtrians, this day involves certain set of rituals and ceremonies that Maharashtrians perform as part of their culture.

Abhyangasnan, or the holy bath

Ingredients of  P.C.: https://goo.gl/vSVcmx

Ingredients of Abhyangasnan
P.C.: https://goo.gl/vSVcmx

The Gudi Padwa day usually starts with an extensive oil bath followed by a dip in a nearby river. Though now, the bath happens at home only but necessarily ends with a distinct dress code for both men and women. Men on this day, stick to traditional attire like kurta, pajama and turban. Maharshtrian women wear a nine yard saree tucked to their back, more popular as kastha or nauvari.

Rangoli, or decorating the house

A Gudi Padwa Rangoli P.C.: https://goo.gl/9Dwjzl

A Gudi Padwa Rangoli
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Cleaning the house is important in Gudi Padwa. Cow dung is use to sweep the courtyard, followed by colorful floral decorations by the doorstep. This is called rangoli, and the same is also done in many other hindu festivals. Vermillion, rice powder and turmeric are mandatorily used in this rangoli. In modern times, some add flowers and candles to the same to highlight the decoration.

The Gudi, or the flag hoisting

Women decorating the 'gudi' P.C.: https://goo.gl/9Dwjzl

Women decorating the ‘gudi’
P.C.: https://goo.gl/9Dwjzl

On Gudi Padwa, every Maharashtrian household hoists an upside down new kalash made of silver, copper or bronze covered in a red, yellow or saffron cloth. The same contains a gathi (a type of sweet), neem leaves, coconuts, mango leaves and marigold flowers that signify a rich harvest. After hoisting it’s positioned to the right side of main entrance of the house so that passerby or neighbours can see it from a distance. Many call this as ‘the flag of Brahma’ (Brahmadhvaj) as on the same day, Lord Brahma is believed to have created the universe. Those who hoist the saffron flag, is believed to commemorate the victories of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Puja, or spiritual worship

Yagna being performed P.C.: https://goo.gl/0u3tbF

Yagna being performed
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While offering to Lord Brahma on the day of Gudi Padwa, one necessarily needs to offer davna (a fragrant plant). This is followed by a sacrificial fire called as ‘hom’, ‘havan’ or ‘yagna’. This fire ritual is common in many other hindu celebrations and denotes welcome of wealth, health and perish of evil from the family.

Neem, a part of the prasadam

The neem prasadam P.C.: https://goo.gl/6woD93

The neem prasadam
P.C.: https://goo.gl/6woD93

No hindu festival is complete without a delicious food chart. In Gudi Padwa, the finger licking dishes are pooran poli, soonth panak, chana and shrikhand. Also, neem is a mandatory in this day’s menu. Tender leaves and flowers of neem is mixed with soaked split gram lentil (dal) or soaked gram, honey, cummin seeds, jaggery and asafoetida to make it a tasty item in the menu.

7 Ideal Places For An Exciting Diwali

Diwali begins at home with family, sweets, crackers and new clothes. Every hindu family participates in the Festival of Lights expecting their lives to remain illuminated all through the year.

In the country, where unity means diversity, the festival of Diwali also has different ways of celebration. While some offer ‘puja’ to Hindu deities Laxmi and Ganesha, some perform Kali Puja, another kind of worshipping. Not only these two, there are more ways in which India observe Diwali.

Diwali In India P.C.: http://goo.gl/8ZVQUR

Diwali In India
P.C.: http://goo.gl/8ZVQUR

Being inside your home or just visiting the neighbours can never unveil to you the glamour and size of Diwali in different parts of the country. If you have the scope, simply make it to these places within in the Indian sub continent this time. Your idea, definition and perception of Diwali will definitely fetch a new angle.

Delhi

India Gate decorated in Diwali P.C.: http://goo.gl/Mgsjw4

India Gate decorated in Diwali
P.C.: http://goo.gl/Mgsjw4

The country capital starts preparations for this much awaited festival of the year months before. Shopping new clothes, gifts for near ones and distributing sweets are basics for all Delhi households. They decorate their houses with lamps and lights. At the same time, some burst crackers, prepare delicious delicacies at home and perform ‘pujas’ or ‘yagnas’. Delhi witnesses some of the popular exhibitions like ‘Dilli Haat’ or ‘Epicentre’ only during Diwali. So, if you are going here, make it a long stay.

Kolkata

Kali Pujo In Kolkata P.C.: http://goo.gl/Mgsjw4

Kali Pujo In Kolkata
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The scene of Diwali stands in Kolkata stands completely distant from the rest of India. Here, localites organize Kali Puja and the same is celebrated by some households. Myths and believes say that this particular offering to goddess Kali is not easy to do. Pandits perform rituals all night while worshippers keep participating. Fireworks, light decoration or sweets to come in the Diwali celebration of Kolkata.

Jaipur

Forts in Jaipur decorated for Diwali P.C.: http://goo.gl/j8Asjq

Forts in Jaipur decorated for Diwali
P.C.: http://goo.gl/j8Asjq

A visit to the Pink City of India during Diwali is a treat to the human eye. From local markets to households, nook and crevice of the big city is adorned with lights and lamps. Market suppliers bring in different kinds of electrical lights and earthen lamps, fire crackers, handmade handicrafts and colorful costumes for men and women. If in Jaipur on Diwali, have a long walk around the city. If lucky, you may see the local musicians clustering at important joints or clubs to perform dance or drama.

Varanasi

A scene from ram Leela, Varanasi P.C.: http://goo.gl/qQpqN5

A scene from Ram Leela, Varanasi
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An epitome hub for Hindu pilgrimage, Varanasi too sets a classy example to the world when it comes to Diwali. While lights, sweets and pujas are very usual in households, the outstanding part is- live drama of the Ramayana is performed in different parts of the city by eminent theater groups. For appeal to the audience, sets are arranged at different locations where you need to move with the troop to keep an eye on the entire performance. This enactment of climax of Ramayana is called ‘Ram Leela’.

Amritsar

The illuminated Golden temple P.C.: http://goo.gl/T6QXqC

The Illuminated Golden Temple, Amritsar
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While the houses confine to cleaning the entire set up, decking it up, decorating with ‘rangoli’, an art form, flowers, lights and lamps, the attraction here is the Golden Temple. Wrapped with lights, this Sikh pilgrim spot looks magnificent on Diwali. It remains crowded and thus you got to keep ample time in hand. The reflection of the illuminated temple on its surrounding water body is a scene you can only witness once in a year in Punjab.

Goa

Nakarsura in Diwali celebration of Goa P.C.: http://goo.gl/M1z1mU

Nakarsura in Diwali Celebration of Goa
P.C.: http://goo.gl/M1z1mU

You may doubt how a state of parties and clubs celebrates Diwali? Well very few know but this state of seas celebrates Diwali with immense grandeur. Effigy of demon Nakarsura are made by different communities and burned right before the day of Diwali. This symbolizes the demolition of the evil from the society. Diwali has a close association with gambling. Though no other states continue this, Goa does so.  You can visit the top casinos and try your luck this time.

Purushwadi

Children collecting oil at Purushwadi P.C.: http://goo.gl/ErXwWE

Children collecting oil at Purushwadi
P.C.: http://goo.gl/ErXwWE

A hill top village in the Mumbai Nasik highway where you can head to celebrate Diwali with a uniqueness. Aloof from the humdrums of crackers and music, here families cluster in the local hamlet for a vast bon fire and share barbecue dishes prepared on the same. Children sing traditional folks and ask elders to pour oil in their burning lamps. The chant of the hymns, the harvest of the rice and the simplicity of the villagers makes Diwali very different here.