Tag Archives: Tamil Nadu

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
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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’
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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
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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.

6 Sweets for A Scrumptious Sankranti

It’s Sakranti in Bengal, Bihu in Assam, Lohri in Punjab, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Makar Sakranti in Maharashtra or Pongal for Tamil Nadu.

Sankranti Celebration in India P.C.: http://goo.gl/Xfs6mR

Sankranti Celebration in India
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Sankranti, the harvest festival marks an adieu to the chilly winter and welcoming spring to every Indian home. The agricultural and climatic change is closely associated with a scrumptious menu that is mostly comprised of sweets and desserts.

Types of Sankranti sweets P.C.: http://goo.gl/nERvrZ

Types of Sankranti sweets
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The dominance of sweet meats is mainly because its during this time that Indian farmers bring home special harvests of sesame (til), jaggery (gudd), black gram (urad dal) and more. These are seasonal crops and are only available at this point of the year.

If that gives you the idea of preparing some special sweet delicacies this Sankranti, then here sharing the top choices you have.

Pathishapta

Pathishaptha, with coconut filling P.C.: http://goo.gl/bpE7Ut

Pathishaptha, with coconut filling
P.C.: http://goo.gl/bpE7Ut

Pathishapta is a sweet roll that emerged from the kitchens of Bengal. It usually has a coconut or sweet cottage cheese filling. Addition of nolen gur or khoya, available only during winter makes Pathishapta more irresistible. It can be consumed as a snack as well.

 Til Laddoos

Til Laddoos P.C.: http://goo.gl/9giIa8

Til Laddoos
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Sesame (til) is available in India only during winter. Thus all Indian households tend to make most of use of it and they commonly make laddoos out of it. The small sweet round balls of til are crunchy and quick grabs at any point of the day. A popular Maharshtrian local saying “til gud ghya, aani godh godh bola” implies, these laddoos will bring in sweet words to your oratory.

Puli Pitha

Puli Pitha in the creamy sweet milk P.C.: http://goo.gl/mTayCO

Puli Pitha in creamy sweet milk
P.C.: http://goo.gl/mTayCO

This one also roots from Bengal and are sweet dumplings dipped in sweet milk. The milk is usually creamy in texture and the dumplings have a filling of coconut or cottage cheese. The preparation is time consuming yet it’s indeed an awesome treat for the buds. The sweet tastes delicious if served cold.

Til Chikki

Prepared with sesame, this one is fast to eat and easy to prepare as well. The same dish is referred to by various names like Til Chakki, Sesame Brittle, Tilgul, Til Patti or Gajak. This can be made and kept in the fridge for long time use. This tastes sweet initially and ends with a bitter twist. Together, it creates a sweet sensation over your buds. The same can be made with peanuts also.

Gulachi Poli or Jaggery roti

Gulachi Roti P.C.: https://goo.gl/0xJDwM

Gulachi Roti
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Indians use different kinds of fillings inside parathas or rotis all through the year to add variety on the dining table. Thus, at the end of winter as jaggery comes in their kitchen, they use it prepare filling for paranthas or rotis. The jaggery makes the Indian bread taste sweet and is usually consumed at the end of any meal. Some also consider the same as popular option for winter breakfast.

Nolen Gur’er Payesh

Kheer, made with jaggery P.C.: http://goo.gl/e7GRRx

Kheer, made with jaggery
P.C.: http://goo.gl/e7GRRx

Payesh, is kheer that Indians prepare in almost all happy occasions and especially birthday. If you have your birthday during the winter, then you are the lucky one. During winter,jaggery is added to the kheer which makes it an irresistal dish. This kheer looks little brownish in color but  the aroma and texture is simply awesome.