Hindu Festivals »
Gudi Padwa or Ugadi
Significance: New Year.
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
Pradesh. It has become a custom to hold
Kavi Sammelans ( Poetry recitals) this day.
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.