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Gudi Padwa or Ugadi

Gudi Padwa or Ugadi
Place: Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka
Time: April
Significance: New Year.
Date: 9.4.2024

This festival marks the beginning of new year in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Karnataka. This festival is known as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra and Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It has become a custom to hold Kavi Sammelans ( Poetry recitals) this day.

Gudi Padva is considered one of the four most auspicious days in the year when people start new ventures. It is believed that Lord Brahma created the world on this day and so he is worshipped specially at this time. People prepare for the new year by cleaning and washing their houses and buying new clothes. On the festival day they decorate their houses with mango leaves and 'rangoli' designs, and pray for a prosperous new year, and visit temples to listen to the yearly calendar 'Panchangasravanam' as priests make predictions for the coming year.  In Maharashtra, it is reminiscent of the valiant Marathas returning home from their successful expeditions of war. They honour their favourite leader, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. A gudi (banner) with a swastika -marked metal pot and silk cloth is raised to announce victory and joy.

The prasad of Ugadi / Gudi Padwa is the bitter leaves of the neem tree with jaggery. There are special foods prepared for this festival. In the southern states, puligore-a sour tamarind rice dish, bobbatlu, holige- a sweet stuffed bread and Ugadi Pachadi made of jagerry, raw mango pieces, neem flowers and tamarind is prepared. In Maharastra,  Shrikhand - a fragrant yogurt dessert, with poori-a fried puffy bread is prepared.

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