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. 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 worshiped specially at this time of the year.
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 the temples to listen to the yearly calendar ‘Panchangasravanam’ as priests make predictions for the coming year. The prasad of Ugadi/Gudi Padwa is the bitter leaves of the neem tree with jaggery/sugar as shown in the image below.
Fresh Neem leaves
Neem leaves are fried in a few drops of ghee till crispy and mixed with either sugar granules or Jaggery and the mixture is served to each and every one in the family on this day.
Fried neem leaves powdered & mixed with sugar
There are special foods prepared for this festival. In the southern states, puliyogore – a sour tamarind rice dish, holige – 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.
We also celebrate Ugadi by decorating entrance of the house by the garland of Mango leaves and attach a bunch of neem to it. We also do the Panchanga pooja and pray for the prosperity and well being of all of us in the family. We prepare Rice, Dalithoy, Tindura curry, Bengal gramdal payasam which we call Madgane, Khotto etc. and enjoy the festival with the family. Konkani Dalithoy is one of the favorite dishes of each and every one among the community and also is a must in the menu for almost all functions.
Ugadi lunch in Banana leaf
Enjoy the lunch with your family. I wish all the viewers a Happy Ugadi/Gudi padva.