SWEET BEGINNINGS: Goa's Hindus love to prepare a sweet dish on the occasion of Gudi Padwa.
SWEET BEGINNINGS: Goa's Hindus love to prepare a sweet dish on the occasion of Gudi Padwa.Photo: Gomantak Times

Unique and ritualistic, Gudi Padwa in Goa is special for newlyweds

Newly-married women look forward to the rituals, gifts and pampering that comes to them on Gudi Padwa

Goa is a land of celebrations, where festivals take place almost all through the year. And then, there are some occasions which hold a special place in the heart, especially if you are a new bride.

One such occasion is Gudi Padwa, the Hindu New Year, which is celebrated with much fervour and devotion, right after the Shigmo festivities.

HAPPY NEW YEAR: On the occasion of Gudi Padwa, 'gudi' has been put up at the Sanguem bus stand.
HAPPY NEW YEAR: On the occasion of Gudi Padwa, 'gudi' has been put up at the Sanguem bus stand.Photo: Dhiraj Harmalkar

This year, Sneha Naik, from Porvorim, is excited to celebrate her first Gudi Padwa as a married woman, and has been preparing for it for the last two days. 

Like Sneha, many newly-wed women are thrilled to participate in this unique celebration where they are the centre of attention. Gomantak Times Digital learns of some interesting rituals which are followed by them.

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Today, Sneha looks beautiful as she is set to wear her red nauvari Saree. “I have been watching reels and videos on the internet to learn how to drape this style of saree well," she gushes.

"We have been all set since morning to get the celebrations of the day started. All the things I will wear today are brand new – new saree, new gold sets and new rituals,” says Sneha who is currently at her maiden home in Porvorim, which is where the rituals begin for them.

SWEET OFFERINGS: Many homes prepare 'mangane', a sweet dish prepared from gram, coconut milk and jaggery.
SWEET OFFERINGS: Many homes prepare 'mangane', a sweet dish prepared from gram, coconut milk and jaggery.

Talking about this unique ritual, another newly-wed, Geetika Bhende, shares, “Back in the day, when transport and customs were rigid, after getting married, women would rarely visit their maiden homes."

"This was an opportunity for the new bride to visit her mother’s home for a few days. And, on Gudi Padwa day, after the rituals, her husband and his family would take her back to her sasural,” adds Geetika.

Geetika, who is currently at her mother’s house in Curchorem, loves the way she is being pampered and treated there.

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“The first time feels very special and unique. We start the day by chewing on some neem," she reveals.

"According to the rituals, we have to eat something bitter, which is followed by a sweet – symbolic of starting the New Year on a sweet note,” she adds, as she serves a bowl of steaming, hot Manganne.

She is set to meet her husband in the evening along with her in-laws, who will bring the otti along with them.

ANNUAL TRADITION: 'Gudi' placed outside a house on the occasion of Gudi Padwa.
ANNUAL TRADITION: 'Gudi' placed outside a house on the occasion of Gudi Padwa.Photo: Gomantak Times

Every family celebrates the festivities in a different manner, and so is the case with Isha Kamat Chimulkar, who tied the knot on December 20, 2023. For this year's celebrations, she will wear the teal coloured saree that her mother-in-law gifted to her.

“We are having a small get together, where we have invited a few close family and friends for the Gudi Padwa celebrations,” says Isha.

Since my mother lives in Mumbai, I stayed over at her place for just a few days, and then returned. We have prepared a few ladoos instead of the traditional sweets,” she adds.

We are having a small get together, where we have invited a few close family and friends for the Gudi Padwa celebrations.

Isha Kamat Chimulkar

Roma Bharne Kakodkar is excited to receive all the love from her in-laws, who live in Margao.

“On this day, we are treated like queens. I will be given an otti, where we are offered a coconut, saree, uncooked rice and even gold!" says Roma.

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"Once the traditions and rituals are completed, I will be escorted to my husband’s home, in Margao. I have been documenting all these rituals and the pampering, too!” adds Roma.

For newly-wed women, the traditions and customs involved in visiting the home, where they grew up and learnt life skills, can be very emotional and overwhelming. And, Gudi Padwa gives them an opportunity to savour those moments at home, sweet, home, even if only briefly.

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