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Gudi Padwa

Gudi Padwa 2010 is when?

Gudi Padwa is the new year of the Indian state of Maharashtra. Also known as Ugadi, it is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu month of Chaitra, which falls sometime at the end of March and the beginning of April. This festival also marks the beginning of spring season. This day is also considered auspicious since this is the day on which Lord Brahma is supposed to have created the world; in Hindu mythology, this is the day from which time began to tick forward. Being spring, it is also the time when the crops are harvested and the fruits of the harvest are sold in marketplaces.

The word 'padwa' means 'New Year' in the Marathi language. The term 'padava' or 'padavo' is also associated with Diwali, another New Year celebration that comes at the end of the harvesting season. On this day, families  traditionally eat the bittersweet leaves of the neem tree. Sometimes, a paste of neem leaves is prepared and mixed with home-grown spices. All the members of the family consume this paste, which is believed to purify the blood. Women make intricate patterns called "rangolis" on the entrance doors ; the vibrant colors are symbolic of the color associated with spring. Everyone dresses up in their best clothes and children wait in anticipation as every visitor to the house brings them presents.

A 'gudi' is a pole on top of which an upturned brass or silver pot (called a kalash) is placed. The gudi is covered with a colorful silk cloth and decorated with coconuts, marigolds and mango leaves. On Gudi Padwa, these gudis are seen hanging out of windows in every traditional Maharashtrian household. Gudis are believed to ward off bad luck and bring prosperity to the family.  

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