Why Gudi Padwa?

Today happens to be Gudi Padwa (for Maharashtrians) and Yugadi (for Kannadigas)–the first day of the Chaitra month which marks the beginning of the New year, according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar.

Kandeel of mango and neem leaves
Kandeel of mango and neem leaves
It happens to be the first day of the bright phase of the moon. People in villages as well in towns like Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur etc. celebrate the day with much gusto tying kandeel on their doors and spread rangoli on the house floor. In the agrarian society, the occasion was linked to the turn of the season and to the sowing and reaping of crops. For this day marks the end of one agricultural harvest and the beginning of a new one.
RangoliI can understand the village folks celebrating it, hanging kandeel’s of mango and neem leaves for most of them are associated with farming. But urban dwellers why? Because living in concrete jungles they have nothing to do with change of seasons. However, they still continue to strip (or help strip) mango and neem trees, if there is one left in their neighbourhood parks or gardens, acquire the same from hawkers who flock to towns with their ware. Imagine hundred and thousand of trees being hacked of their foliage so that city folks who have never nurtured or watered a plant in their lives would continue to follow an ‘agrarian’ festival! Twenty-first century citizens continuing a practice they rarely identify with.
Days later the ‘kandeels’ will be thrown into the dustbin, and taken to a garbage dump or a landfill.
Reminds me of David Attenborough’s saying, “Man is a plague on the Earth.”

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2 thoughts on “Why Gudi Padwa?

  1. Paramvir Sawhney

    People are so insensitive that they rip off the branches of mango plant which is merely 4 feet high(or even less) to use the leaves for some Puja purpose.

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