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Sombre Gudi Padwa celebration in city amid Covid-19 pandemic

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NASHIK :

The city on Wednesday witnessed a subdued celebration of Gudi Padwa, which marks the beginning of Marathi New Year in the state, as people stayed indoors in view of the national lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The saraf bazaar which witnesses a gold turnover in crores on the auspicious muhurat of Gudi Padwa, this year, however, has been shut since last four days due to nationwide lockdown amid Covid 19 pandemic.

‘ We are losing a daily business turnover of around Rs 50 crore. For the last four days since Sunday and after the Janta Curfew the city jewellers have lost around Rs 200 crore gold turnover. The people believe Gudi Padwa as one of the auspicious occasion to buy gold,’ a member of Saraf association said.

Gudi Padwa is the first day of the month of Chaitra and marks the beginning of the New Year as per the Hindu calendar.

People hoisted the traditional ‘gudi’ – made of a bright cloth adorned with brocade (zari) tied to the tip of a long bamboo stick and a silver or copper pot placed in the inverted position over it – in their balconies and windows.
But, at many places in the city , they could not garland the gudi with flowers, mango and neem leave as flower shops were shut and markets wore a deserted look.

People were also not able to put up the traditional ‘toran’, a garland of marigold flowers, on their house doors.
They also gave a miss to the other traditional ritual of tasting sour ‘neem chutney’, as markets were closed. However, on the eve of the festival, Nashikites preferred to buy Shrikhand from well-known halwais and sweet shops to avoid rush.

The Gudi Padwa processions were also cancelled. Police maintained a tight bandobast to prevent people from crowding the markets. Despite the lockdown, many people were seen flocking market areas to purchase essential.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a tweet in Marathi to greet people of the state for the festival.
“People of Maharashtra are celebrating Gudi Padwa. I wish them success, happiness and good health. May all their wishes be fulfilled this year,” he tweeted.

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