Today we all celebrated Hindu Calendar New Year and offered prayers to God. Gudi Padwa, the first Holy festival which marks the beginning of the New Year, new month and new day for the Hindus falls on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. It is known as Gudhi Padwa (in Maharashtra), Ugadi (in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh). In other parts of country it is celebrated as Nav Roz (Kashmir), Cheti Chand (Sindhi), Naba Barsha (Bengal), Goru Bihu (Assam), Puthandu (Tamil Nadu) and Vishu (Kerala). On this very day Lord Brahma created the Universe. Therefore for Hindus, this day carries special importance. The day is celebrated with an auspicious bath, followed by decorating the doorway with a ‘toran’, performing ritualistic worship and hoisting the Gudhi.
The day, begins with ritual showers (oil bath) followed by pooja to God and Panchanga Shravana. Houses are decorated with Mango Leaves and Rangoli and everyone in the family wear new clothes and celebrate the festival by wishing each other New Year greetings.
The eating of a specific mixture called Bevu-Bella (Neem and Jaggery) in Kannada, symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of good and bad, Happiness and Sorrow. Eating Neem and Sweet Jaggery means one need to take both Good and Bad or Happiness and Sorrow should be accepted together and with equanimity through the New Year. The special mixture consists of Neem Buds/Flowers for its bitterness, signifying Sadness and Jaggery which is sweet, signifying Happiness.
In Karnataka a special dish called Obbattu or Holige (Puran Poli), is prepared on this occasion. It consists of a filling (gram and jaggery/sugar boiled and made in to a paste) stuffed in a flat roti like bread. It is usually eaten hot/cold with ghee or milk topping or coconut milk at some places of Karnataka.