What is Gudi Padwa? Hindu new year celebrations begin

·2-min read
Families wear bright colours on  Gudi Padwa to symbolise optimism about the year ahead  (Getty Images)
Families wear bright colours on Gudi Padwa to symbolise optimism about the year ahead (Getty Images)

Hindu mark the start of their new year on Wednesday (March 22) with the regional Indian holiday named Gudi Padwa. The holiday is the traditional new year for Marathi Hindus but what does it mean?

What is Gudi Padwa?

Gudhi Padwa is a spring festival marking the start of the traditional new year primarily for Marathi and Konkani Hindus. It is celebrated in and around India at the start of Chiatra, which is the first month of the lunar Hindu calendar. It also marks the start of the civil year among Hindus, particularly in the central Indian states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Gudi Padwa, also known as Gudi Padva, is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra. This means it usually falls in late March or early April.

What happens during Gudi Padwa?

Families decorate their homes in vivid colours and wear bright clothing to show their optimism about the new year and what it may bring. Families have open front doors to welcome in the new year and celebrate with parties and festivals.

What is the history behind Gudi Padwa?

It is believed that Lord Brahma created the universe on this day. It marks the beginning of spring and is a chance to be positive about what is coming, including harvest time. As India is chiefly an agricultural country, this makes it an important festival.

Why and how is the holiday celebrated?

Hindus see the new year as the perfect opportunity to clean and tidy the homes, and make good wishes for the following year.

The day begins with ritual oil-bath followed by prayers. Oil bath and eating neem leaves are rituals suggested by scriptures.

Are there any events in London I can get involved with?

New year time is a typically private family ritual but there are a list of some Hindu celebrations here.