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Maharashtra's 'Gudi Padwa' festival to be celebrated on April 8
In Maharashtra and some South Indian states, the festivals of "Gudi Padwa" and "Ugadi" are being observed as New Year's Day. For Maharastrians, Gudi Padwa is the festival like the New Year day and is celebrated on the first day of the Indian month of Chaita according to the Hindu lunar calendar. Konkani Hindus in Karnataka call their festival "Ugadi". This year Gudi Padwa will be celebrated on April 8.
Also, Gudi Padwa is celebrated to mark the end of the Rabi season. A Gudi is hoisted on this occasion giving this festival its name. It is hoisted at the windows or prominently displayed in households for people to see.

A Gudi consists of a bright green or yellow cloth with brocade tied to the tip of a bamboo along with sugar crystals, neem leaves, mango leaves and a garland of red flowers. A silver or copper pot is placed in the inverted position over it.

From religious point of view, the festival marks the coronation of Rama in Ayodhya after completing 14 years of exile and his victory. Hoisting of Gudi symbolizes victory of lord Rama. It is believed to ward off evil, invite prosperity and good luck into the house and next bumper crop.

People put up rangoli designs on their doorsteps; dress up in new clothes for family gatherings and festivities. Often a paste of neem leaves mixed with dhane, jaggery and tamarind is prepared for eating. It is believed that the paste purifies blood and develops immunity.

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