Women dressed in traditional attire take part in a procession celebrating 'Gudhi Padwa' or the Maharashtrian New Year, in Mumbai on April 2, 2022.

Mumbai welcomes new year with music, dancing and traditional costumes

Huge crowds pack the streets of a southern Mumbai neighbourhood to watch women motorbike riders, singers, dancers and drummers take part in a parade for "Gudi Padwa" which marks the new year in the western state of Maharashtra, with many wearing traditional dress.

"Gudi Padwa" is celebrated by Marathi and Konkani communities in western India on the first day of the local new year. "Gudi" means the flag of Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe according to Hindus, and "Padwa" means the first day of the lunar phase.

The day heralds the arrival of spring and people start the morning with prayers and decorate their house with rangolis -- colourful work of folk art drawn on the ground -- and fresh flowers.

Maharashtra state, home to India's financial capital Mumbai and which was badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, lifted all its virus restrictions imposed over the past two years, including the wearing of masks,  as new infections decline, allowing the parade to take place.