FESTIVALS OF MAHARASHTRA & GUJARAT
Sankranti (January): In Maharashtra, when two people greet each other on this festive day, they exchange a few grains of multicoloured sugar and fried til mixed with molasses and say "til gud ghya, gud gud bola" (henceforth, let there be only friendship and good thoughts betweens us)
In Gujarat, the pundits consider Sankranti as an auspicious day to grant scholarships and certificates of merit of students who have successfully completed their studies in philosophy. In a Hindu household, new utensils are purchased and used for the first time. On this day, young boys and girls and even the old people, are on their house-tops flying kites.
Gudi Padva (March/April): This is the New Year's Day for the people of Maharashtra, a day of great festival and rejoicing.
Dev Diwali (October/November): The hill of Mount Girnar at Junagadh in Gujarat are the scenes of great festivity on the 10th day after Diwali. Thousands of Jain pilgrims gather on this day at the foot of the secred hills for circumambulations.
Navaratri (October/November): This festival is observed throughout India though it has special appeal in Gujarat. Every evening during the nine nights, womenfolk perform a Garba dance. They go round and round an earthen lamp placed on a stand, singing and clapping their hands in a rhythmic movement.
On the eve of Thiruonam, the second and most important day of the festival, king Mahabali is supposed to visit his kingdom. Every home is bright and shining in preparations for the royal visit. No works is done after midnight. Visits are exchanged and lengths of auspicious saffron clothes are presented by friends to one another.
The songs are generally typical in character and concern people well known in Malabar. Above each boat gleam scarlet silk umbrellas: their number denotes the affluence of the family owning the boat. Gold coins and tassels hang from the umbrella.