It is springtime, and it is Gudipadwa soon! If you're a Marathi or Konkani, this is the season of joy and festivities for you. The first day of Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar is celebrated as Gudipadwa every year. It is an auspicious event that signifies the start of the New Year for the Marathi and Konkani people. The word padava is taken from Sanskrit, from the word pratipada, which basically means the lunar fortnight's first day. Gudipadwa is celebrated with the signature decorations like the Gudi flag and rangoli.
The festival is an all-out celebration of life and positive affirmations for the coming future. In essence, it is not very different from the Christian New Year. The festival is celebrated under other names in different fashions depending on where their Hinduism originates. For example, Telugu Hindus celebrate Ugadi, while Kannada Hindus celebrate the festival pronouncing it differently (Yugadi). The Sindhi community celebrate the same festival, calling it Cheti Chand and offering prayers to Lord Jhulelaal.
This, however, isn't the actual New Year for all Hindu sub-communities. In areas near Gujarat, the New Year starts during the 5 day Diwali festival. For some areas, it is around Vaisakhi. One thing, regardless of the size, that is common about celebration for Gudipadwa is gifting! Gifting is one universal expression of love, familiarity, and importance that you feel for someone close to you. So let's look at some gifts to give to your loved ones during Gudipadwa!
1. Sweets: A classic gift item to anyone in India during traditional Hindu festivals is a sweet box. Indian sweets are just on a different level when it comes to ingenuity and authenticity. There are a plethora of sweets to choose from. If it is for a loved one, you know precisely the box of sweets you need to pick. Everybody in a family, regardless of age, enjoy sweets. A good idea is a box of assorted sweets.
2. Dry Fruits: Dry Fruits are considered really luxurious gifts. They are healthy, delicious, and nutritious. Everybody loves snacking on some dry fruits and an assortment of crunchy dry fruits like cashews, pistachios, almonds etc. A good package would also have walnuts and resins. In a festive season like this, people like making sweets at home, for which these dry fruits can come in handy. Topping up homemade sweets with dry fruits just make them so much better.
3. Items of Spiritual Relevance: Religious People always enjoy gifts which are items that symbolize spirituality and belief in a higher power. Such a belief system is a very relieving way to live life, and a small idol of gods and goddesses can lighten up somebody's life in ways it's hard to imagine. These kinds of gifts don't rely on size as much as they rely on the sentiment behind making the decision.
4. Indoor Plants: There's something about plants that just brings a wave of positive energy to space. It definitely has something to do with the oxygenation process, but some indoor plants are also so aesthetic that they add to the beauty of the place. Indoor plants make for a great gift to someone on an auspicious occasion such as Gudipadwa.
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