Documentary: The Gudi Padva Carnival – India

Woman playing huge drum in the Gudi Padva Carnival, India.

 

This article and images were submitted to Edge of Humanity Magazine by writer and blogger Rukmini Krishnan. 

Click here for more posts depicting daily life in India by Rukmini Krishnan.

 

The Gudi Padva Carnival

On March 21, which is also spring equinox, India celebrated Gudi Padva, an auspicious day in India and in many Indian states is also celebrated as the New year.

What Does Gudi Padva Mean?

The word Padva comes from the Sanskrit word Pratipada which signifies the first day of the Indian Luna month. On this day, a Gudi or a pot is raised to signify prosperity. On this day, in Maharashtra, a Gudi is hoisted outside the house, or from a window in the house. Either a green, red or a yellow cloth is draped around a stick and it is decorated with sugar crystals , neem leaves , mango leaves and a garland of flowers. The pot that is raised is made of silver or copper and it kept in an inverted position. This is called the Gudi.

Sugar crystals - Gudi Padva Carnival, India

Sugar crystals – Gudi Padva Carnival, India

How Does One Celebrate Gudi Padva?

Usually, in the villages and cites, people clean their houses and throw out the unwanted stuff. A paste of Neem leaves is made with jaggery, coriander seeds and tamarind. Scientifically, this is the time of a long cold winter and the body is getting used to a lot of changes and the consumption of neem leaves is believed to have a healthy effect. Maharashtrians usually make Puran Poli on this day along with Shrikhand.

The Gudi is a symbol of victory and is believed to ward off evil. All over Maharashtra there are traditional carnivals held with the people going out on the streets in full splendor and pomp.

Gudi Padva Carnival - India

Gudi Padva Carnival – India

Click on the image for more of India’s daily life

Gudi Padva Carnival - India

Gudi Padva Carnival – India

The Carnival

I chanced upon one such carnival this year and it was an experience that was mind blowing. The sheer magnetism in the crowd and the absolutely scintillating ambience beckoned me to enjoy more and more. There was a never-ending display of talent and skill. While some of them were demonstrating martial arts, there were others who were dancing on the road. While there were people spreading the message of saving the environment by carrying pots of plants on their heads, there were others beating to the sound of drums melodiously.

Women demonstrating self defense tactics - Gudi Padva Carnival - India

Women demonstrating self defense tactics – Gudi Padva Carnival – India

Click on the image for more of India’s daily life

Women spreading the message of saving plants - Gudi Padva Carnival, India

Women spreading the message of saving plants – Gudi Padva Carnival, India

There were people on the streets all ready to be a part of the carnival. They were dressed either as kings and queens, or as Lord Krishna the Indian God. There were chariots and vans, trucks and vehicles filled with flowers, gaiety and enjoyment. The entire atmosphere was eclectic with a traditional fervor and the energy was unstoppable.

Man and woman dressed as King and Queen - Gudi Padva Carnival, India

Man and woman dressed as King and Queen – Gudi Padva Carnival, India

The sight of women playing huge drums and the animated participation when the beats reached a crescendo will remain etched in my mind forever. Then there were those experts with long sticks with flags on the top who were beating the stick to the rhythm of a gong. These are experiences which are perennially nostalgic and indeed amazing.

Drum player - Gudi Padva Carnival, India.

Drum player – Gudi Padva Carnival, India.

Click on the image for more of India’s daily life

Men beating the stick to the rhythm of a gong - Gudi Padva Carnival, India.

Men beating the stick to the rhythm of a gong – Gudi Padva Carnival, India.

It was amusing to see so many children on the streets spreading the message of saving the planet. The absolute magnificence of the entire event was indeed an experience to cherish.

Children spreading message of saving the planet - Gudi Padva Carnival, India.

Children spreading message of saving the planet – Gudi Padva Carnival, India.

Gudi Padva certainly brings forth a combination of energetic participation and absolutely positive vibrations. If anyone is in Indian during this time, this is a must do.

 

This article and images were submitted to Edge of Humanity Magazine by writer and blogger Rukmini Krishnan. 

Click here for more posts depicting daily life in India by Rukmini Krishnan.

 


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