The many ways to celebrate Gudi Padwa at home
A time for new beginnings, celebrate Gudi Padwa by ushering in hope and prosperity even as you indulge in time-honoured customs and traditions with your family in the comfort of your home
Begin with a clean-up
A festive occasion calls for a sparkling makeover. And with Gudi Padwa signalling the beginning of a new year, it’s only apt that one indulges in all things fresh. By now, many of us have spent our time at home cleaning and decluttering it. If so, you’ve already got a head start on this step. Taking the current situation into consideration, it would be wise to vacuum, wash and scrub your abode thoroughly. Throw open your windows and let the healing rays of the sun in.
Do a quick and easy makeover
Make use of existing stuff and rearrange your belongings to give your home a new look. Highlight the entrance of your house by decorating it with colourful rangolis, strings of torans (if possible) and urlis filled with flowers and floating candles. Dress up the interiors of your home in colourful textiles and rich textures (think pillow covers, curtains or blinds fashioned from up-cycled saris with zari borders). Flowers are integral to any Indian celebration, so fill your home with the colours of fresh blooms.
Make your own gudi
If there’s one visual characteristic of this widely celebrated festival, then it’s the decorated gudi—an upturned copper or silver pot that’s placed over a bamboo stick adorned with a green or yellow coloured cloth, which is then tied with neem and mango leaves, garlands of flowers and sugar candies. This festooned gudi—a common sight in windows and balconies of homes—is believed to ward off evil and is symbolic of Lord Ram’s victorious return to Ayodhya after defeating Ravan. Once hoisted, the gudi is regarded with reverence and observed by family members through prayer.
Prepare a meal to remember
No celebration is complete without delicious eats. From the yoghurt-based shrikhand puri to the rich and flavourful puran poli and the wholesome potato bhaji, thalipeeth, kothimbir vadi and the likes, serve up a homely spread of traditional delicacies for your family and loved ones. Don’t forget to offer the bittersweet mixture of neem leaves and jaggery that is believed to represent life and its many joyous and difficult experiences.
Set a beautiful table
To celebrate these moments over a feast, lay down a striking table cover or runner along with complementing table mats. If you can get your hands on some fragrant flowers, then fill a vase with these blooms; alternately, you can place a potted plant for some freshness. Change things up a bit by returning to age-old traditions. Replace the porcelain dishes with silver or steel thaata (plates) and glasses and a copper jug filled with water. Sprinkle mogra flowers on your table for guests to enjoy the sweet fragrance.
Plan your purchase
An auspicious occasion, Gudi Padwa is also a good time to embark on new ventures and make high-value purchases. If you’ve been planning to make other purchases—like a new phone or home appliance, use your time at home to do your research and compare prices and offers to make an informed choice.
So, don’t be discouraged by the recent turn of events, celebrate the occasion surrounded by your loved ones even as you pray for good health and prosperity for all.
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