Riding into the New Year, all dressed up

Indians dressed in traditional clothes participating in a procession to celebrate Gudi Padwa, the start of the New Year in the state of Maharashtra according to the Hindu calendar, in Mumbai yesterday.

The festival marks the beginning of the lunar calendar year for Hindus. The name originates from a Sanskrit word which refers to the first day of the bright phase of the moon.

Also a harvest festival marking the end of one season and the start of another, Gudi Padwa is celebrated with the donning of one's finest clothes and the thorough cleaning of one's home.

Women and children typically draw a rangoli, a colourful pattern created on the floor using dyed rice and dry flour. Festive meals include traditional dishes like shrikhand, puris, sprouted chana, puran poli, and gulab jamun.

The festival was originally started by Chhattrapati Shivaji, a legendary Maharashtrian warrior, to celebrate his victories.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2016, with the headline 'Riding into the New Year, all dressed up'. Print Edition | Subscribe