Ugadi means “the beginning of a new age”. Usually Ugadi is celebrated either at the end of March or in April, first week, in the month of Chaitra which is the first month of the New Year. Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit word Uga means NEW and so the beginning of the New Year is celebrated in the name of Ugadi. It is celebrated with festive fervor in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and also it is given more importance in Madyapradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Assam too.
Ugadi is also the most auspicious time to start new ventures. It is believed that the Creator God, Lord Brahma began the creation of the Universe on this auspicious day, that is the Chaitra month, the first day of the New Year. Besides, the calculations of the great Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya had proclaimed that Ugadi day is the beginning of the New Year, New month and New day.
Nature also emphasizes the significance of this day as the onset of spring also marks a beginning of new life with plants, acquiring new life, shoots and leaves. The withering of older leaves and blossoming of new ones marks and means that the ruins of the past and welcoming the new good things and thoughts in the New Year that is on Ugadi. The prosperity of wellbeing is denoted like the meadows full of colorful blossoms signify growth, prosperity and well-being and The New Year Ugadi will also give the same.
Ugadi marks a change in the lunar orbit too so the Spring is enjoyed when Mother Nature awakes from her deep slumber to give birth to new plants and cover earth in a blanket of green It is denoted and believed that on the day the lunar orbit also changes and it gives numerous changes on this Earth and forecast of upcoming year is predicted and so the highlight of this function comes close in afternoon by reading the Panchanga Shravanam –that is hearing of the New Era, and People collect at one place to listen the forecast for various sectors of the social life and the strengths and effects of various constellations and their transitions. And offer prayers to the Almighty Sun also.
Gudi Padva is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Maharashtra. “Gudi” means a banner raised to announce victory and joy while “Padva” derived from the Sanskrit word “Pradurbhu” meaning the 1st day of the lunar month. As per Marathi calendar it denotes the first day of Chaitra marks the beginning of spring. Lord Brahma is worshipped on this auspicious day as on the very day, Lord Brahma created the universe. The doorway of the house is decorated with thorans, Ritualistic worship and hoisting Gudi mark the day.
The Gudi, Lord Brahma’s flag is hoisted in every house to symbolize the victory of Lord Rama. A bright yellow or green cloth is tied to the tip of a long bamboo. gaòhi (a type of sweet), Neem leaves, a twig of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers are tied over this Gudi. A silver or copper pot is placed in an inverted position over it. Altogether, it is called Gudi. Like any other festival, delicious food items are prepared during Gudi Padva including Puran Polis, Soorith Pak, Usal, Shrikand, Pooris, Jalebis, and Basundi. In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, it is celebrated as Ugadi. People begin the day with ritual showers followed by prayers and Panchanga Shravana in the evening.
Even though, the names are different, all the festivals signify the beginning of the New Year and astrologically, the date marks sun’s entry into Mesh Rashi. Manga Pachadi and Veppam Poo Pachadi are a must for this festival. This has its own significance. The Pachadi has sweet, salt, sour and bitter taste which symbolizes the different colors of our life and teaches us that we have to face everything from success to defeat gracefully.