Festivals of Hindu Brahmins of Maharashtra

Festivals of Hindu Brahmins of Maharashtra

Indian Communities in India, be it from any state, follow the Hindu calendar for festivals or finding the auspicious day for marriage or other events. The Maharashtrian Brahmins fixes the auspicious day for Marathi Matrimony after consulting the Hindu calendar. Even the festivals they celebrate are according to the day mentioned in the Hindu calendar, also called Saka.

The Maharashtrian Brahmins are further divided into sub-communities all of which celebrate the festivals.

1. Deshastha Brahmins
2. Konkanastha Brahmins
3. Daivadnya Brahmins
4. Devrukhe Brahmins
5. Karhade Brahmins

The common Hindu Festival celebrated by the above Maharashtrian communities is Ram Navami, Gudi Padwa, Hanuman Jayanti, Narali Pournima, Janmashtami, Mangala Gaur, Kojagiri, Ganeshotsav, Khandoba Festival (Champa Shashthi), Diwali, Shivaratri, Makar Sankranti and Holi. Some of these festivals are celebrated is especially celebrated by the newlyweds. Just after completion of the Marathi Matrimony rituals, the wife takes the responsibility of taking care of the household and husband in particular. Festival like Mangala Gaur is very important for the newlyweds.

Some of the important festivals are as follows:

Gudi Padwa: This festival is celebrated on the 1st day of Chaitra, which according to Gregorian calendar falls in the month of March-April. This is officially celebrated as the Maharashtrain’s New Year day. This day, people erect victory pole or gudi outside the house. Special dishes from the state are made especially shrikhand. This day is considered auspicious for conducting ceremonies like Marathi Matrimony.

Ram Navami: This festival is celebrated on the 9th day of Chaitra. This is another important festival for the Hindu Maharashtrian Brahmins. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Ram, the mythological hero of Ramayana and one of the revered Hindu Gods. On this day in Maharashtra, the new mothers eat Sunthawada or dinkawada, a traditional snack.

Narali Pournima: This festival falls on the full moon day of Shravan, according to English calendar on July-August. According to customs, the Brahmin men wear a sacred thread around their body, which they change on this day. Other Marathi people celebrate Raksha Bandhan, the famous Hindu festival where the sister ties the knot on the brother’s wrist. Narali Bhat, a sweet dish made of rice and coconut, is prepared on this occasion.

Janmashtami: This festival falls on the Ashtami in the dark half of Shravan. The entire Hindu community celebrates this day as the birthday of Lord Krishna, another popularly worshipped Hindu deity. Marathi people prepare Gopalkala, a dish of popped millet, curd, chill and salt. This Marathi delicacy is quite popular among kids.

Ganeshotsav: This is the biggest festival celebrated in the entire Maharashtra, by the entire Hindu community. This day falls on 4th day of Bhaadrapada (English Calendar months August-September). This is a 10-day festival celebrated on a large scale. The Maharastrian Brahmin community celebrates this festival in the home installing the Ganpati idol. For this occasion, modaks, steamed rice dumplings with coconut or jaggery filling are part is prepared in every household. In some families, Mahalakshmi is also worshiped for three days.

Besides, these festivals, other festivals like Navratri, Diwali and Holi are celebrated among the Maharashtrian Hindu communities.