Gudi Padwa is celebrated by the people of Maharashtra and the Konkanis as the beginning of new year according to the Hindu luni-solar calendar. Also known as Sanvatsar Padvo, it is the first day of the new year. It is believed that the day marks the beginning of a cycle of sixty years or sixty Samvatsara and each year is identified by a unique name. In the southern states like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the festival is celebrated as Ugadi. In Tamil Nadu, the luni-solar festival is known as Puthandu, in Assam as Bihu, Naba Barsha in West Bengal, Pana Sankranti in Orissa and Vaisakhi in Punjab.
The festivities begin on the first day of the Chaitra month according to the calendar. People celebrate the festival by decorating the gudi, that is an erected flag with a red or yellow cloth. They further hoist or hang it at a raised platform to symbolise an army’s victory. Devotees worship the gudi which is later covered with an inverted silver or copper vessel. Colourful and intricate rangoli designs drawn at the entrances of houses signify the onset of the harvest and spring season.
People begin the day with a holy oil-bath. Along with the traditional oil bath, eating neem leaves on the occasion is one of the rituals that are apparently strictly followed. Chaitra Navratri Puja is celebrated for nine days as a part of the festivities.
Here are the puja timings according to drikpachang.com,
Pratipada Tithi Begins = 08:26 on 28/Mar/2017
Pratipada Tithi Ends = 05:44 on 29/Mar/2017