The Hindu New year in India is called with different names in every state. It falls on different day every year because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar. It is celebrated as Ugadi in Andhra and Karnataka, Gudipadwa in Maharashtra, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam, Vaisakhi in Punjab, Pana Sankranti in Orissa and Naba Barsha in West Bengal. It falls on the month of Chaitra which is the first month according to Indian calendar Panchanga. Before new year, houses are cleaned thoroughly. Shopping for new clothes and buying decorative’s, puja items along with family and friends is common.
It is believed that the creator of the universe – Lord Brahma started creation on this day – “Chaitra Suddha Padhyami” or the Ugadi day. The great Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya said the Ugadi day as the beginning of the New Year.
Gudi padwa – Chaitra Shukla Pratipada
Gudi Padwa is the Marathi name for Hindu new year. Many consider this day ideal for the purchase of ornaments, a house among other things. Gudi Padwa is observed by Konkani Hindus as well. This celebration revolves around Gudi. The Gudi is made of cloth and place on bamboo stick. The cloth can be of various colours, but red, green or yellow are the most common. It is decorated with, sugar, Mango leaves and flowers.
Celebrations of Ugadi
The name Yugadi or Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga (age) and ādi (beginning): “the beginning of a new age”. Ugadi is celebrated by decorating the doors with fresh flowers and fresh mango leaves. People also splash fresh cow dung water on the ground in front of their house and draw colorful floral designs.
In southern states a traditional special item made is Ugadi pachadi or Bevu bella. It is paste made from jaggery, neem buds, tamarind juice, salt and raw mango. It consists 5 tastes – sweet, salt, sour, bitter and spicy. All the ingredients are ground together to make a fine paste. The bitter, sweet and sour tastes signifies that life is a mixture of happy and sad events. All members of the family taste this paste.
The main and common item prepared in many regions is Poli (Poornam pool, puran pool, bobbattu or backshalu). For a natural and healthy version of this recipe – visit http://ujwalasdelicacies.com/pumpkin-bakshalu-poli/