Hindu New Year commences with prayers, sweets and gratitude

Indore : Praying for blissful year, residents of Indore started the Hindu New Year by offering prayers and sweets during the celebration of ‘Gudi Padwa’ and ‘Cheti Chand’ on Friday. Following the tradition, most residents visited temples offering prayers and sweets to the lords. Since, Gudi Padwa marks the first day of the 9-day Navratri festival, the crowd in the temples of goddesses multiplied. Most of the temples were crowded with devotees the whole day and echoed with the chants of ‘Jai Mata Di’.

As a part of the tradition, most families ate a paste of neem leaves prepared with jaggery and tamarind, believed to purify blood and strengthen the body’s immune system.

To celebrate the New Year with colours, residents wore new outfits and decorated their homes with colourful Rangolis. “The most important part of the celebration today was the gudi, which symbolises strength to ward off evil forces,” home maker Rekha Alekar said. She explained that a ‘gudi’ is a cloth doll, which is put on a bamboo stick and worshipped on the day.

Hindu New Year

While the Maharashtrian community celebrated the New Year with ‘gudis’, the Sindhi community of the city gathered at the Jhulelal temple and took out a procession in the city marking the first day.

Home maker Geeta Panjwani said, “To celebrate the new year, families get together and thank god for the wonderful year that passed and pray for health and prosperity in the coming year.” She added that a variety of deserts are offered to lord Jhulelal.

The day is celebrated as ‘Thanks Giving Day’ in the Sindhi community. Members of the community took ‘Baharana Sahib’, which consists of an oil lamp, crystal sugar, cardamom, fruits, and akha, to the nearest water body paying respect to lord Jhulelal.

People feasted on popular traditional dishes like shirikhand, puris, sprouted chana, puran poli, and gulabjamun at the end of the day.

To celebrate the day with the community members, various politicians including Mayor Malini Gaud and BJP leader Kailash Verma distributed jaggery, coriander and laddoos among the residents of the city at Rajwada and Regal Square.

Source: Freepress Journal