Festivals mean Celebrations. Every nation in the world celebrated its own national, religious and cultural festivals. India is the largest country in the world and the most diverse society: celebrates numerous religious and cultural festivals. In India, a particular festival is celebrated with different names and forms. Festivals bring peace and joy into the life of people.
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Wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year: Gudi Padwa
The most popular festivals celebrated in India are Diwali, Navaratri or Dussehra, Makar Sankranti, Ganesh Chaturthi, Ramadan, Eid, Christmas and so on. National festivals like Independence Day and Republic Day. Besides many more religious festivals according to particular state and community.
One such religious festival which is celebrated in many names across the country is “Gudi Padwa“.
Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Ugadi in Andra Pradesh and Yugadi in Karnataka, marks the Traditional Hindu New Year. It is the first day of the Hindu Month Chaitra. Beginning of the Spring season.
In Maharashtra, it is celebrated to mark Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after defeating Demon Ravana and It is said that Lord Brahma created this Universe on this day i.e. the first day of the month of Chaitra…
What is Gudi?
As mentioned earlier the beginning of the Marathi year was on the day of Gudi Padava in the month of Chaitra. Like the Hindu calendar, the Chaitra Pure Pratipada is celebrated on the first day of the spring season.
Most of the households in Maharashtra hoist the “Gudi” to a long stick in front of their house. It is seen in almost all the houses in Maharashtra. Gudi means flag. Celebrations begin with cleaning the courtyard and decorating with colorful Rangolis. The doors of the houses are decorated with flower garlands and mango leaves. Ladies and children enjoy wearing new clothes.
On this day, Gudi is made using 100 % natural materials like bamboo, silk cloth, copper, mango leaves, pumpkin leaves, battasha ki mal. The prasad of battasha is served and the chutney of kadunimba is eaten. It is said that whatever you do on the first day of the new year, it will be continued throughout the year. That’s why this special neem chutney along with other items is made and eaten. Which is a mixture of bitter, sweet, sour and salty in flavor, indicating the mixture of incidents that happened in the last year and going to happen in the coming year.
Apart from celebrations, one more important and interesting part of the festival is the Special foods prepared on those days. Gudi Padwa’s special food is not an exception. Puran poli, Shrikhand Puri Basundi, Masala Bhat, Pakoras and many more dishes are prepared on Gudi Padwa.
Gudi Padwa Special Food
What to Eat On Gudi Padwa
A special recipe is made on Gudi Padwa. Which is a mixture of Neem Leaves, Jaggery, Soaked Chana dal, Jeera, Neem flowers, Khismish and Kaju. This is a blend of sweet, sour and bitter flavors.
In my childhood, I was told that which flavor we get to taste more in this prasad is the indication of the experiences and incidents we are going to witness in the coming year.
For if we get sweeter: good incidents are on the way, if we get a more bitter taste: may experience some bitterness. And so on. But this recipe itself indicates the sweet, sour and bitter flavors mean balanced experiences are on the way.
The ingredients used in this recipe are of medicinal value and they benefit us accordingly.
1. Neem leaves and Flowers:
Neem leaves are used as a medicine by ancient Indian doctors. Neem has antioxidants that are very beneficial in skin disorders. Neem is also used to treat eye disorders, bloody nose, stomach disorders, etc.,
Jaggery is used to make so many sweet dishes. And also has many medicinal values. It is considered as a blood purifier. Boosts immunity. Helps in detoxicating the Liver. Also prevents constipation. It is said that jaggery eases menstrual pain.
3. Soaked Chana Dal:
Chana dal provides energy, it is the source of protein. Good for the heart. A diabetic-friendly lentil because it improved insulin response in the body. Highly fibrous. Lowers blood pressure.
Jeera or cumin seeds contain substances that act as antioxidants. They help in treating diarrhea. Also good for controlling blood sugar. Very beneficial in weight loss. Lowers Cholesterol.
Kaju or Cashews are rich in fiber and low in sugar, Kajus contain healthy fats which are good for the heart, They are plant proteins. Kajus are a good source of copper, magnesium, and manganese the important nutrients required for energy production, brain health, immunity, and bone health.
Khismish or raisins are polyphenolic antioxidants. They help to reduce hypertension. Control the adverse insulin effect. Good for the eyes. Give strength to bones.
In other words, this recipe is a medicine in itself. Which influences good health. An ideal way to start the new year with a healthy life. This mixture symbolically reminds the people that the following year will consist of not just sweet experiences, but a combination of sweet, sour and bitter episodes.
Just as the different ingredients are mixed together, we are reminded that no event or episode is wholly good or bad. Even in the midst of bitter experiences, there are sweet moments. We are also reminded that like the flavors life is also full of different episodes, and we have to learn to put pain and pleasure in proper temporal perspective.
Gudi Padwa Special Recipes:
On an auspicious day of Gudi Padwa, the naivadyam of Shrikhand Puri is offered to Gudi.
In Ayurveda, Shrikhand is called “Rasala” or “Shikharini”.
Please Note: I have already posted a detailed article on how to make Shrikhand at home please check out the recipe.
Video Recipe for Shrikhand:
There is a mythological connection to this dessert Shrikhand. Bhima, in the Mahabharata, was disguising as a cook in the name Ballava in the kingdom of Virat. He was the one who made this dish for the first time and offered this to Lord Shri Krishna. Upon consuming this dish Krishna fell asleep. This, interrupted (Khanda) Lord’s (Shri) routine. Hence the name Shrikhand is given to this recipe.
Why should we eat Shrikhand on Gudi Padwa?
- Gudi Padava marks the start of the spring season of the summer season. Due to the harsh heat of summer, our body becomes dry and tired. One needs instant energy and wants to refresh. Then this Shrikhand is best for them. Shrikhand works as an energizer to avoid being tired and revive the necessary energy.
- In short, one should celebrate this festival by realizing the health meaning of the tradition of Gudi Padwa, so that the coming new year will surely be happy, prosperous and full of health.
Puran Poli popular Maharashtrian sweet flatbread is made with wheat flour, Jaggery and chana dal stuffing. It is generally made during special occasions or during festival time. In Karnataka Puran Poli or Hooranada Holige is made to celebrate the new year.
Video Recipe For Puran Poli
Masala Bhat is also a compulsory recipe made on Gudi Padava. It is a one-pot meal made with rice and vegetables using a special masala called Goda Masala. It is a must-dish in Maharashtrian celebrations and weddings. Festivals are no exception to this.
Video Recipe For Masala Bhat:
To conclude, festivals are like stress busters and help us balance our emotions. They bring positivity into our life which naturally lowers negativity. They also provide an opportunity to increase the bond between friends and relatives. Nothing brings people together as festivals do.
Once again Happy Gudi Padwa to you All
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