Gudi Padwa / Ugadi
Gudi Padwa is considered as the harvest festival. It marks the end of Rabi crop for the season. This is the time when the summer fruits are reaped.
However, there is another reason for which this festival is celebrated. It is believed that on this day the universe was created. It is a common belief in Hinduism; that this is the day when Brahma created the world. Thus, the day is dedicated to all the Gods. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu took the form of a fish on this day. This was an incarnation to save the entire earth from destruction or pralaya.
Gudi Padwa is celebrated as Ugadi by the people of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Both Gudi Padwa and Ugadi are celebrated on the same day. Gudi Padwa is the Marathi New Year according to Luni-Solar calendar. Luni-Solar calendars consider the position of the Moon and the position of the Sun to divide the year into months and days. The counter-part of Luni-Solar calendar is Solar calendar which considers only position of the Sun to divide the year into months and days.
The day begins with ritual oil-bath followed by prayers. Oil bath and eating Neem leaves are must rituals suggested by scriptures. North Indians don’t celebrate Gudi Padwa but start nine days Chaitra Navratri Puja on the same day and also eat Neem with Mishri on the very first day of Navratri.
Today with the augment of cheer and joy, Gudi Padwa is a celebration of the gift of nature. It is a time when people pray for the well being of the humanity. It is believed that good wins over evil on this day and is considered to be an auspicious day for all. Let us all pray for a better world, free of all sufferings, disorder, and anomalies in the society this Gudi Padwa.