Today there is a new festival here in Mumbai! It is the Gudi Pawda, which is the first day of the Chaitra month according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar. This is actually the first month of the year, so it the New Year starts today! SO everyone; Happy new year to all of you!
This festival is mostly a Maharashtra festival, and celebrated more in Mumbai than in the other cities in India, if I have understood it correct. The office is officially closed today, even if some people who work for European projects are actually here.
On Gudi Padwa, a gudi is found hanging out of a window or otherwise prominently displayed in traditional Maharashtrian households. Gudi is a bright green or yellow cloth adorned with brocade (zari) tied to the tip of a long bamboo over which gathi (sugar crystals), neem leaves, a twig of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers is tied. A silver or copper pot is placed in the inverted position over it. This gudi is then hoisted outside the house, in a window, terrace or a high place so that everybody can see it. So far I must admit that I have not seen any such gudis outside, but that is probably mostly because I went too early to the office. When I come back, there will probably be seeing more when I go home.
Yesterday there were a huge stage prepared close to my house, and I do expect that there will be some speech or something done from here today. Also there were quite a few folks who were drumming yesterday. Maybe as a preparation for the day.
I must admit that it is both interesting, but also a bit strange with all these New Year days. In the eight months I have been in Mumbai, there have been at least three different “New year”. First we had the Parsi New Year back in September, then we had the Christian we are used to in Europe, and today we have the Maharastrian one. And I’m quite sure we have had the Muslim New year eve also, even if I have not been part in the celebration. And among Hindus it is not to uncommon to threat Diwali also as start of a new year. At least as start of the financial year.
Will try to update this post during the day if I observe anything special.
Talk to you soon!