Gudi Padwa, is almost here, bringing with it a nostalgia – memories, sights and smells associated deeply with home, love and celebration.
Hasn’t this day always been celebrated with much pomp and gusto to mark the creation of the universe, the beginning of the New Year and the onset of spring and harvest season? According to legend, adding to the significance of Gudi Padwa is the fact that this day also marks the coronation of Lord Rama on his triumphant return form vanvasa (exile). Do you remember how the matriarch of the household – Aaji (grandmother) or Aai (mother) – really coming into her own to celebrate this day?
So, dress up in your traditional finery, cue the dhol and set up with these five essential Gudi Padwa elements you need to celebrate it just like mom did:
Crafting the gudi lovingly – Aai’s first job. A symbol of the festival and an ensign that brings luck and happiness for the entire year - a suitable bamboo shaft is adorned with a silken scarf, which is wrapped with neem leaves, flowers, and mango leaves, and finally topped off with a pot or kalash and proudly displayed from the terrace, window, or balcony of the house. One of the most enduring childhood memories is to help mom prepare the gudi and the kadulimba cha prasad during Gudi Padwa.
You can’t have an Indian, and particularly a Maharashtrian festival without a dash of colour. Remember how your mother traced out a gorgeous and intricate rangoli to mark the festival and of course, adorning the main entrance of the household with garlands.
Homemade food is always the best, and Aai’s puranpoli - what wouldn’t you give to have a taste of that again! It doesn’t get much richer and more delicious than this famous flatbread. That perfect blend of channa daal (split chickpeas), sweet jaggery, and savoury spices all generously bathed in pure ghee. The mouth waters just thinking about it.
Saying that Shrikhand is India’s sweet yoghurt is like saying the Shaniwar Wada used to be someone’s residence. It’s so much more than that. The softness and lightness of the yoghurt, the sweet overtones, and that hint of saffron –a most delightful dessert to grace the Gudi Padwa menu – especially when you could get to taste it off Aai’s fingers!!
The start of spring - the beginning of mango season – nothing could cool you down quite like a tall sip of lip-smacking aam panna. Mint leaves, mango pulp, a hint of sugar and spice, and Maa’s loving hand to mix it into a stimulating and refreshing beverage like no other.
Each and every entry on this list sparks a glowing moment of reminiscence. Relive those happy childhood times where family values, tradition and celebration brought the entire household together.
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