India is well known all over the world as a country of cultural and traditional festivals as it has many cultures and religions. One of it is “Gudi Padwa”. Gudhi Padwa is a spring-time festival that marks the traditional New Year for Marathi Hindus. It is celebrated in and near Maharashtra on the first day of the Chaitra month to mark the beginning of the New Year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar.
The festival is linked to the mythical day on which Hindu god Brahma created time and universe. To some, it commemorates the coronation of Rama in Ayodhya after his victory over evil Ravana, or alternatively the start of Shalivahan calendar after he defeated the Huns invasion in the 1st century.
Gudi means flag, erect flag on the houses as part of the celebration in Maharashtra where it is mainly celebrated. The word “Padava” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Pratipad” for the first day of each fortnight in a lunar month i.e. the first day on which the moon appears after the so-called "new moon" day and the first day after the full moon.
On the festive day, courtyards in village houses will be swept clean and plastered with fresh cow-dung. Even in the city, people take the time out to do some spring cleaning. Women and children work on intricate rangoli designs on their doorsteps, the vibrant colours mirroring the burst of colour associated with spring. Everyone dresses up in new clothes and it is a time for family gatherings.
The same New Year festival is known by other names in different regions of the Indian subcontinent. However, this is not the universal New Year for all Hindus.