Gudi Padwa for many Hindus is the beginning of Chaitra Navaratri. For Aashish Washikar, a Marathi-speaking Deshastha Shukla Yajurvedi Maharashtrian Brahmin, who is a digital marketeer based in Gurgaon, responsible for managing online reputation of his clients, it is the first day of the New Year. A Journalist Reveals requested him for a short insight into the celebration of the festival. This is what he had to say:
What is the significance of Gudi Padwa to your community?
From first day of the New Year to celebrating the victory march of Shivaji Maharaj, there are many legends behind why this day is celebrated. We celebrate it because it marks the beginning of Hindu New Year. This is the first day of the first month named Chaitra.
How do you celebrate the festival?
The day is full of festivities. It starts with Abhyanga Snan early in the morning, followed by a sticking out a gudi outside the house. Later in the evening there is panchanga shravan, which is basically a session to read and listen to the astrological importance of the year and how the year is going to be for various sun signs.
What special dishes are made during this festival in your home?
The lunch or the naivedya consists of an elaborate menu, of which prominent dishes are puran poli and kadu limbachya panachi chutney. This is the day when the first mango fruit of the season is consumed, and hence various mango based delicacies such as ambyache panha and kande-ambyachi chutney also feature in the menu.