Gudi Padwa Festival History
The major reason behind this day being regarded as the first day of the year is that, during the first day of Chaitra month, the sun states itself at a position above Vasant intersection, which is the point of intersection of the equator and the meridians. This position of the sun denotes the commencement of the season of spring. The religious scripture of Bhagvad Gita states Lord Krishna saying, "Among the seasons, the exhilarating Vasant season is my manifestation." In this season nature rejuvenates itself. The day is also termed special because this was the day when Lord Ram Chandra killed the ape king Vali to crown his brother Sugriv the king of Kishkindha. This is also the day when after one year from slaying Vali, he came back to Ayodhya after killing Ravana and a number of his demon allies. Another incident which makes this day auspicious is that, on this very day, the Sakas registered victory over the Huns. This day also marks the commencement of the Shalivahan calendar and this happened soon after Shalivahan vanquished his Hun enemies. If Brahma Puran is to be believed, then this is the day when Brahma created the universe out of chaos. These are the major historical and mythological instances because of which this pious day is celebrated.
Importance of Gudi
Though a Hindu festival, only those Hindus who are related to a particular belief follow all the rituals related to this festival. The Hindus who are the followers of goddess Kundalini hoist the Gudi in front of their houses to invite her in. A Gudi is a bamboo stick on the top of which an inverted pitcher is placed; the pitcher is of a particular shape which denotes the form of the goddess. Yellow colored silk adornments are put on the Gudi along with garlands of red flowers and twigs of mango tree. The Gudi is hoisted at an angle towards the right hand side of the main entrance of the house; this is because the right side is considered to be the active part of the soul. The ground where the Gudi is hoisted is prepared with great care and a swastika is drawn where the Gudi is supposed to be hoisted. The Gudi is also considered sacred because there are other significant symbols which are associated with it. Shiva Shakti, which is a major force present in the universe, is associated with the Gudi and is invoked while worshipping it. These are the forces which help the Gudi accept the divine energies emitting from the rising sun. The Gudi also symbolizes the Sushumna nadi of the body, which has a major role in reaching the divine consciousness. There are other symbols too which make the Gudi an important part of this festival.