A festival that binds more than half of our nation, known as Ugadi or Gudi Padwa is the New Year according to Hindu calendar. The first month of the year is called Chaitra and the first day of Chaitra is known as Ugadi. This festival holds utmost importance in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
One festival, different names:
This day is celebrated with different names and for different reasons. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it’s called Ugadi, at Karnataka, it’s called Yugadi. It’s celebrated as Cheti Chand by the Sindhi community, Navreh in Kashmir and Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba in Manipur.
Known as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, the festival is celebrated by many people who clean their house, buy new clothes and hang torans of raw mango leaves. As ‘Gudi’ means doll, Marathis prepare bamboo dolls of mango and neem leaves and hang them on the entrance of their houses.
They also take a bath at dawn and apply hair oil. The festivities end in the evening as people gather and listen to panchangam.
Incomplete without food:
On the occasion of Ugadi, a mixture of six ingredients is made, each symbolizing an emotion, to be consumed by the family members.
Neem buds/flower -Sadness
Unripened Mango- Surprise
A similar mixture is made in Maharashtra which is supposed to help purify the blood and increase immunity. Along with the mixture, Puran Poli is also prepared in Maharashtra which is called Obbattu or Holige in Karnataka and Bobbattu in Andhra Pradesh.
The dish is prepared by stuffing paste of gram and jaggery in a roti topped with ghee, milk or coconut milk.
The festival marks the beginning of Vasant Ritu and New Year according to the Hindu Calendar. Gudi Padwa also indicates marks the completion of harvesting of Rabi crops.
It is said to mark the day when Brahma created the world after the great flood.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his wishes for celebrating the rich diversity of the festival during his latest Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast.
President Pranab Mukherjee also extended his greetings and said, “On the happy occasion of Chaitra Sukladi, Ugadi, Gudi Padava, Cheti Chand, Navreh and Sajibu Cheiraoba, I convey warm greetings and best wishes to all my fellow citizens,”
“Let tolerance and mutual amity flourish amongst our people. May these festivals spread peace and friendship, inspiring our citizens to re-dedicate themselves to the service of motherland,” he added.