Hindu New Year Festival:
The President of India extended greetings to the whole nation and Indians all across the world on the occasion of Ugadi
- These festivals of the spring season mark the beginning of the traditional new year in India.
- It marks the beginning of the new year of the Vikram Samvat also known as the Vedic [Hindu] calendar.
Vikram Samvat is based on the day when the emperor Vikramaditya defeated Sakas, invaded Ujjain and called for a new era.
- Under his supervision, astronomers formed a new calendar based on the luni-solar system that is still followed in the northern regions of India.
- It is the first day during the waxing phase (in which the visible side of the moon is getting bigger every night) of the moon in the Chaitra (first month of Hindu calendar).
Gudi Padwa and Ugadi:
- These festivals are celebrated by the people in the Deccan region including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
- The common practice in the celebrations of both the festivals is the festive food that is prepared with a mix of sweet and bitter.
- A famous concoction served is jaggery (sweet) and neem (bitter), called bevu-bella in the South, signifying that life brings both happiness and sorrows.
- Gudi is a doll prepared in Maharashtrian homes. A bamboo stick is adorned with green or red brocade to make the gudi.
- This gudi is placed prominently in the house or outside a window/ door for all to see.
- For Ugadi, doors in homes are adorned with mango leaf decorations called toranalu or Torana in Kannada.
- Sindhis celebrate the new year as Cheti Chand. Chaitra month is called ‘Chet’ in Sindhi.
- The day commemorates the birth anniversary of Uderolal/Jhulelal, the patron saint of Sindhis.
- It is the lunar new year that is celebrated in Kashmir.
- It is the Sanskrit word ‘Nav-Varsha’ from which the word ‘Navreh’ has been derived.
- It falls on the first day of the Chaitra Navratri.
- On this day, Kashmiri pandits look at a bowl of rice which is considered as a symbol of riches and fertility.
- It is the great ritual festival of Meiteis (an ethnic group in Manipur) which is observed on the first day of Manipur lunar month Shajibu, which falls in the month of April every year.
- On the day of the festival, people arrange a joint family feast in which traditional cuisines are offered to local deities at the entrance gates of the houses.