While Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are celebrating Ugadi, Maharashtra and Goa are celebrating Gudi Padwa in the country. Meanwhile, today marks the auspicious beginning of Chaitra Navratri too that is celebrated mostly in Northern India.
Ugadi formed by combining two Sanskrit words – ‘Yuga’ and ‘Adi’ – means new beginnings. While the day has a special significance for the people of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka who celebrate the day as Ugadi, people in Maharashtra and Goa celebrate the festival as ‘Gudi Padwa’.
The first day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar’s month of Chaitra is celebrated as Ugadi. This year, Ugadi is being celebrated on April 2.
People celebrate Ugadi to mark the fresh beginnings and the joys of the upcoming year. Ugadi symbolizes that people should bask in the goodness of life and celebrate all flavours in the New Year. The festival also celebrates the onset of spring, which symbolizes relief from the harshness of the winter weather.
According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that Lord Brahma started the creation of the universe on Ugadi. The festival celebrates the nine forms of Durga, and the first day (Chaitra Navratri) is dedicated to celebrating the beginning of mankind. Indian mathematician Bhaskaracharya had identified Ugadi as the beginning of the new year, new month, and a new day in the 12th century.
On this day, to mark new beginnings, people buy new clothes and decorate their homes with mango leaves and flowers. On the day of the festival, people use a mixture of water and cow dung and use it to sprinkle on the areas around their homes. They worship the Gods and welcome the New Year. In southern states, devotees start the day with an oil bath. Relatives gather together to celebrate as well.