Praying for a good year ahead


The word ‘padava’ originates from the Sanskrit word ‘Pratipada’ which refers to the first day of the Lunar fortnight. Gudi Padwa is celebrated with colourful rangoli. On this day, a special gudi flag with a garland of flowers, mango and neem leaves, with a silver or copper vessel on the top is hoisted at homes.

Hindus refer to the day as ‘Sansar padvo’ which is one of the three-and-a-half auspicious days or muhurats in the Hindu calendar. It signifies the arrival of spring and reaping of rabi crops. It is linked to the mythical day on which Lord Brahma created time and the universe. Some commemorate it as the day of the coronation of Rama in Ayodhya after his victory over evil. In rural Maharashtra it is referred to as Shiva’s dance and is the coming together of the community as they carry ‘Gudhi Kavads’ together  to Shiva’s temple. It symbolises the victory of King Shalivahana and thus the gudi was hoisted by the people when on his return to Paithan (Maharashtra).

The gudi symbolises the Brahmhadhvaj (Brahma’s flag) as mentioned in ‘Brahma Purana’. It is believed to ward off evil, invite prosperity and good luck into the house.

In Goa, the festival of Gudi Padwa is popularly known as ‘Sansar padvo.’ Hindus take a bath early in the morning. The courtyard is plastered with fresh cow dung and the gudi is hoisted in front of the house. Then a puja of the gudi or Brahma dhwaj is performed.

On this day, Mangal Yatra (procession) is organised. Discourses and speeches by Vedic scholars are organised too. Sweet dishes are prepared and offered to Lord Brahma and the deities at home as Naivaidya.

A puja of the new Hindu calendar known as ‘Panchang’ is performed at homes and in temples.

There are kirtan performances, discourses, bhajan, aarti and other religious rituals are held to mark the celebration of festival. Devotees pray to Lord Brahma and other deities for their blessings.

Today, the festival is celebrated on a large scale. In Bicholim, Gudi Padwa Utsav Samiti organises a Mangal Yatra that passes through different lanes of the town. This evening there will be a keynote address by Vedic scholar Dnyaneshwar Patil at 6 p.m. which will be followed by a cultural programme.

At Shri Vathdev temple, Panchang pujan will be performed by priest Bhanudas Vaze in the morning.

The gudi will be hoisted in front of the temple at 8 a.m. in presence of devotees.

Panchang Vachan by Vedic scholar Ramkrishna Buva Garde and a kirtan performance by him will be held at 6 p.m. today.