Gudhi Padwa marks the beginning of the Hindu new year in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The festival day – which took place last week – is traditionally celebrated by putting up buntings and gudhis (a bamboo stick adorned with a kalash, a saree and floral garlands among other things) in homes.
To mark the popular festival, the Maharashtrian community in Manchester recently came together at the Gita Bhavan Hindu Mandir and put up a spectacular event, complete with traditional festivities.
The morning started with a showstopping display of Lezim (a type of Marathi folk dance) and Miravnuk (procession), which also carried the Gudhi itself, where several talented members took part; either as dancers, dhol players or flag bearers.
The spectacular display, which took place outside the temple, presented a vibrant sight for onlookers as the community members engaged in energetic naras like “Jay Shivaji, Jay Bhavani” to accompany the procession as it made its way inside the temple.
After the pooja of the Gudhi – which is also known as the Brahmadhvaj (flag of Lord Brahma) as the day is also believed by many to mark the day Lord Brahma created the universe – there was a cultural programme attended by over 300 members of the diaspora.
The event saw several dances, solos as well as group, of children of all ages. This was followed by a special fancy dress show; children of all ages dressed up as various loved personalities from the state of Maharashtra and mimicked famous dialogues or qualities of their chosen personalities.
The diverse range of personalities portrayed by the children ranged from iconic historical figures like Jhansi ki Rani (Queen of Jhansi) and B.R. Ambedkar to modern day icons like singers Lata Mangeshkar and Mahesh Kale.
The festivities culminated with a traditional Maharashtrian meal with delicacies like kothimbir wadi, potato curry and shrikhand.