Gudhi Padwa heralds the advent of a prosperous new year and is considered as one of the most auspicious days by Hindus. The Hindu year begins on the first day, "shuddha pratipada", of the month of Chaitra (March-April). It is one of the 'Muhurat' amongst the three and a half Muhurats that occur in Hindu calendar year. The day is considered auspicious for building or entering a new house, putting a child to school, or starting a business. With this day begins the new season, the spring.
According to Brahmand Purana God Brahma created the world on this day. On this day people should vow to be bold and courageous to face their problems and fight against their enemy. On this day Shri Rama had freed the people of South from the tyranny of Vali. To celebrate this occasion people put up Gudhi (symbol for victory or victory flag) in their courtyards.
It is a day of great festivity and rejoicing. People get up
early and clean their houses, decorating them with intricate rangoli
designs. New clothes are worn, and sweets made for the occasion include
shrikhand, basundi, jalebis etc. Many homes also decorate the pots with
coconuts, flowers and mango leaves, symbolizing nature's bounty to all.
On this day a pole named Gudhi is erected in front of the house. Padwa is another name for "Pratipada", the first day of the lunar month. A new cloth is tied on the Gudhi, a metal or silver vessel is put on to it and a garland of sweets is hung on it. People welcome the New Year with Gudhi worship and distribute Prasad comprising of tender Neem leaves, tamarind, Ajwain, gram-pulse and jaggery. The Neem paste is believed to purify the blood and build up immunity in the body against diseases.