Gudhi Padwa (Devnagari: गुढीपाडवा) is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month, and is celebrated as New Year’s Day by Maharashtrians and Hindu Konkanis ( called as Samvatsar ( Sausar ) Padvo or Yugadi by Konkanis ). It is the same day on which great king Shalivahana defeted Sakas in battle.
This is also first day of Marathi Calendar. This festival is supposed to mark the beginning of Vasant (spring). According to the Gregorian calendar this would fall sometime at the end of March and the beginning of April. According to the Brahma Purana, this is the day on which Brahma created the world after the deluge and time began to tick from this day forth. This is one of the 3 and a half days in the Indian Lunar calendar called “Sade-Teen Muhurt”, whose every moment is considered auspicious in general to start a new activity.
While the people of Maharashtra use the term Gudhi Padwa for this festival and the Konkanis use Sanvsar Padvo (sanvsar derived from samvatsar meaning year) the people of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka term the same festival, observed on the same day, Ugadi. The Sindhi festival of Cheti Chand is celebrated same day.
On this day, gudis are hung outside the houses or in the localities. A ‘gudi’ is a pole on the top of which an upturned brass or silver pot called a kalash is placed. The gudi is covered with a colourful silk cloth and decorated with marigold flowers, coconuts, and mango leaves that symbolize nature’s bounty. Gudi is worshipped by offering sandalwood paste, turmeric and vermilion. Then, boys and young men of the locality form a pyramid and the person on top of the pyramid breaks the coconut which is in the kalash.