In the Luni-Solar calendar, the Ugadi festival refers to New Year's Day. It is mostly celebrated in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. The Marathas in Maharashtra celebrate it as Gudi Padwa.
When is Ugadi / Gudi Padwa 2021
The Ugadi 2021 date is determined by calculating the position of the Moon. The day that follows the first New Moon after the Spring Equinox is celebrated as the new year or Ugadi.
Ugadi signifies the start of a new Samvatsara. A cycle includes 60 Samvatsaras, each with his or her name. The Samvatsara of 2021 is known as the Plava Nama Samvatsara, which means the year of wisdom and knowledge.
Ugadi's astrological meaning
The Ugadi festival takes place on the first day of the Chaitra month, which is the first month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar. It normally occurs in March or April according to the Gregorian calendar. Ugadi (Yug-adi) is a Sanskrit word that means "the beginning of a new century." It is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga (age) and adi (beginning). Ugadi is the first day of the astrological new year's Shukla paksha (waxing phase).
The legend behind Ugadi
In pre-ancient times, during Satya Yuga, humanity had lost all moral virtues and lived like animals. So Lord Vishnu decided to end the world with a deluge. Lord Brahma was to start a new civilization then. Key instructions towards this new civilization were handed over to Lord Brahma by Lord Vishnu in Vedas. A demon called Somakasura stole the Vedas from Brahma and hid them deep in the Ocean. Lord Vishnu took the Matsya Avatara, killed the demon, and retrieved the Vedas. Having got back the Vedas, Lord Brahma started the creation of the new world on Ugadi day.
Drawing colorful designs on the floor called Kolamulus (Kannada: Rangoli), decorating entrance doors with mango leaves called Toranalu (Kannada: Toranagalu), buying and giving new clothing, getting a special bath accompanied by oil treatment, visiting temples, giving charity to the needy, and cooking and sharing some unique food products are all part of the celebrations. It is customary on Ugadi to wash the front of their houses with water, add cow dung paste, and draw colorful floral patterns. Mango leaves are also used to decorate front doors.
A major tradition is the preparation of special dishes such as pulihora, bobbatlu, burelu, and pachadi. Raw mango, which is plentiful this time of year, maybe an important ingredient in these dishes. Pachadi is the most well-known of the Ugadi specialties. It's a chutney-like dish with ingredients that have all of the flavors/tastes – honey, salty, tangy, and bitter. It is a symbolic reminder that in the coming new year, one can assume complicated life phases and face a variety of challenges. Pachadi's ingredients include jaggery or brown sugar, neem flowers, salt, tamarind, or raw mango, which give it its various flavors.
Importance of Gudi Padwa
The Gudi Padwa festival signifies the arrival of spring and the harvest of rabi crops. Gautamiputra Satakarni of the Shalivahan dynasty defeated the Sakas on this day in 78 A.D. Following his victory over the Mughals, the legendary warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji restored the Gudi Padwa festival.
Today, Gudi Padwa is widely celebrated in Maharashtra and Goa. Families decorate their homes in preparation for a prosperous year ahead. People dress up in vibrant colors and spend the day smiling and reminiscing about good memories from the past.