Gudi Padwa is celebrated as the first day of the Chaitra month according to the Hindu Calendar. It is also celebrated as the New Year's day by Maharashtrians. This is supposed to mark the beginning of the spring season. This is one of the 3 and a half days in the Indian calendar whose every moment is considered auspicious.
On this day the houses are cleaned and rangolis are drawn on the doorstep. Everyone dresses up in new clothes and it is the time for family gatherings. This is begun by eating the bittersweet leaves of the neem tree. A paste of neem leaves is made by mixing ajwain, jaggery and tamarind. All the family members consume this paste which is believed to purify the blood and increase our immune system against diseases. The main attraction is the Shrikhand Puri which is prepared specially for this ocassion.
The Gudi is hoisted in every household. A bright green or yellow cloth adorned with brocade (zari) is tied to the tip of a long bamboo over which gathi (a type of sweet), neem leaves, a twig of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers is tied. This is then hoisted by placing a silver or copper pot placed in the inverted position over it. You will find such gudis hanging out of windows in traditional Maharashtrian homes.