India is a land of many festivals and celebrations. There are festivals that are celebrated around the year. And some of the festivals are celebrated by the entire nation that is the entire country is lightened in some particular festivals such as Holi, Diwali, Eid, Christmas and many more.
Whereas there are some festivals that are celebrated by only a particular region of the country. It does not mean that other states or communities are restricted to follow or celebrate any particular festival or occasion. It is the very essence of India that no festival is a stranger to any person.
And these festivals are also one of the reasons why the people of this country get well with each other so easily.
Festivals are a part of our Indian culture, they are not only a means of observing any certain cause but also celebrating India’s brotherhood essence. That is why each festival is joined by many other people who might not belong to the same community but they share and respect the value of the festival.
Some examples of such celebrations include, when we celebrate Holi or Diwali or Eid or Christmas, it is seen that there is no restriction of any particular community celebrating or observing it.
It is seen that people invite each other, give them good wishes, join them in the feast, exchange gifts, go for visiting the holy sites and pay their respects.
This act brings everyone a little closer and ignites the essence of brotherhood, love and peace among each other. And as already mentioned that India is a land of festivals, and there are many festivals that are celebrated throughout the year. Some national and some regional.
Likewise, there are some festivals that are celebrated according to the Hindu mythological calendar, which has both lunar and solar calendar. That means that these festivals in India are celebrated according to the celestial movement of the sun or the moon, and based on that the festival is observed.
Diwali is traced to be occurring according to the lunar Hindu calendar. Whereas some festivals or occasions are celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar. That is these festivals are celebrated in accordance with what the rest of the country other than India, New Year for example is celebrated on 1st January along with the rest of the world.
Along with this there are festivals that are celebrated twice in a year. And in this context, New Year is again a perfect example for this. In India, New Year is celebrated once on the 1st of January according to the Gregorian calendar, and again somewhere in the month of March or April according to the Hindu calendar.
In this section, we shall talk about one such festival called Gudi Padwa, where we shall see in what context the festival is celebrated? And what is the significance of the festival? And what states in India are involved in the celebration of the festival of Gudi Padwa?
Why we celebrate Gudi Padwa?
Gudi Padwa is a festival that is predominantly celebrated by the Hindus in the state of Maharashtra that is it is a festival that is observed by the state of Maharashtra and its Hindu people.
The festival of Gudi Padwa is a festival that marks the New Year according to the lunar Hindu calendar. Just as mentioned before that some states in India celebrate their New Year according to the movements of the sun and the moon and as depicted in the Hindu calendar.
So, the festival of Gudi Padwa is observed according to the movement of the moon, or it can be said the Hindu lunar calendar. It falls sometime in the month of March according to the Gregorian calendar.
In Hindu terminology the festival is celebrated in the month of Chaitra. The festival is predominantly celebrated to mark the beginning of the New Year and thus people see it a merry-making day. There are of course some rites and rituals that are observed by the people of the Maharashtra, specifically the Hindus of the state.
Some of the rituals include the colorful decoration of the house and preparing a flag sort of altar where a pot of silver or copper which holds a great significance in the Hindu mythology is presented and that it is decorated and then worshipped.
Another significance of the festival include that the festival is celebrated to mark the onset of the spring season. In this season the Rabi crops are ready and are fully mature and are prepared to be harvested.
India as it is known that majority of the rural India is based on agriculture and that the farmers are eagerly waiting for the harvest seasons so that they can reap the yielded crops and can sell them in the market to earn the fruit of their rigorous labor.
The festival of Gudi Padwa is basically to celebrate the reaping of the crops. There are some other stories about the celebration of the festival of Gudi Padwa. One of that is about lord Rama when he returned from his 14 years in exile, was crowned during this period. That he was coroneted as the true king of Ayodhaya.
Some other stories that signify the celebration of the festival is that Lord Brahma, one of the trinity gods according to the Hindu Mythology, crafted the universe. As the trinity gods are associated with the creation of the universe.
Speaking of trinity gods of the Hindu Mythology, Shiva the protector and destroyer of the evil is also associated with the festival. He is said to perform the dance that also signify the celebration of the festival. As for the rituals that are associated with the festivals they include the cleansing of the home, and decorating with flowers and beautiful earthen lamps that light the house.
People get dressed in their best and new clothes. They exchange gifts and wish their family, friends and even neighbors best regards. Every house is almost decorated with a rangoli on the floor. There is an aura of happiness in every house who welcome their New Year with new hopes and wishes.