Maharashtra ushers in Hindu New Year on Gudi Padva

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Mumbai, March 28:Millions of Maharashtrians here welcomed the Hindu New Year on Tuesday by celebrating Gudi Padva with joy, gaiety, dancing, music, and making huge rangolis of flowers.

At the crack of dawn, Maharashtrians erecting the traditional colourful ‘Gudi’ or a long bamboo stick draped with a new silken cloth, garlands, neem twigs topped off with a silver, copper or bronze pot, symbolizing victory, prosperity and spirituality, outside their homes, rooftops or balconies.

The auspicious day – a full public holiday – was marked with several inaugurations of public and private establishments and different types of ‘muhurats’ to bring in prosperity and good luck.

Large processions in which men and women of all ages danced gaily, in different parts of Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Nashik and other towns and villages.
Thousands of men, women and youth clad in traditional attires and sporting the traditional Maharashtrian ‘pheta’ (head-gear) danced singly or in groups to the beating of drums, cymbals and lezims, leading colourful floats depicting highlights of the festival.
The revelers braved the scorching early-summer heat when temperatures have already crossed 40 degrees Celsius in several parts of the state and grim forecast of further rise in mercury in the next couple of months.

The Maharashtrian women whipped out the festival favourites like ‘shrikhand’ and ‘puran-poli’ savoured along with ‘sunth paak’ and ‘aambe daal’ and other goodies.
Several restaurants and eateries also offered these dishes as a ‘special’ item on the day’s festival menu.

Greeting the people of the state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said: “Wishing the people of Maharashtra on the special occasion of Gudi Padva. May the coming year bring happiness, good health and prosperity.”

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi also conveyed his best wishes to the people of the country celebrating Gudi Padva, Ugadi and Cheti Chand.

“May these festivals marking a New Year bring happiness and prosperity for all,” he said in a message.

Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also greeted the people of the state on Gudi Padva marking the New Year.

IANS

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