Sunday, March 30, 2014


AHEAD TO A NEW BEGINNING - Just as the colours of Holi are a precursor spring and the vibrant colours in nature; Ugadi is a precursor to new beginnings. This festivity celebrates all things new - a new year, a new season, a new month, a new day. Leaving the past behind and starting afresh with positive expectation is one of the key aspects of Ugadi. Nature too welcomes Ugadi with vivid flowers, tangy green mangoes and fresh green all around! 
Legend attributes the significance of Ugadi to the day that that Lord Brahma embarked on creating the universe. The word Ugadi came from yuga + aadi, yuga means era, aadi means start, the start of a new era and beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar with a change in the moon's orbit. The new lunar calendar year commences from this day on.

According to the great Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya’s calculations; the new year, new month, new season (spring - vasant ruthu) and new day begins at sunrise on Ugadi day, specifically - Chaitra suddha padhyami. Devotees visit temples and seek blessings from God for health, wealth, prosperity, and success in businesses and work. 
A major festival in Andhra Pradesh, Ugadi, is not just the Telugu New Year. This day heralds in the New Year for Kannada, Kashmiri, Marathi and Sindhi communities. In Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the preparations for the festival begin about a week ahead. Houses are given a thorough wash and families shop for new clothes. On Ugadi day, people wear new clothes and decorate the entrance of their houses with fresh mango leaves colourful rangolis (floral designs).

This year Gudi Padwa falls on March 31st 2014. This Holy festival which marks the beginning of the New Year, new month and new day for Hindus, falls on Chaitra Shukla Pratipadā (the first day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra). In different regions of India, it is known as Gudī padwa (in Maharashtra state) or Yugaadi (Ugādi) (in the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh). The most significant aspect of Ugadi is the panchanga sravanam (listening to the yearly calendar or Panchang) and starting the day with Ugadi pachhadi (chutney). Kavi Sammelanam (poetry recitation) is also a typical Telugu Ugadi feature. Ugadi is also the most auspicious time to start new ventures, and invest in new a house. In India, the regional New Year’s Day is informal and has no official sanction. The regional festivals, marked as New Year's Day, are mainly associated with their respective harvest season; therefore, they may vary from one place to another. Apart from that, the diversity of the festivals is based on the original ethnic variety of Hindu culture. All regional festivals and religious celebrations are respected and appreciated. The ancient spirit of India is to tolerate, accept and harmonize in order to achieve unity in diversity. This is what our spiritual teachers have taught us. So, our greetings for this Hindu New Year (Gudi Padwa)! (Editor's note).

Hindus celebrate their religious occasions with great enthusiasm and revelry. True to the liberal style of their functioning, these religious festivals have much variation. ... Regional festivals are many in the Hindu culture. In addition to the common national festivals, Hindus have many festivals that are unique to their own regions. These regional celebrations are often associated with the harvest season and also mark the beginning of the New Year. As the harvest season differs in various parts of the country, the regional New Year days are also many and, as such, have no official sanction. The importance of agriculture in Hindu society is clearly visible on such occasions. ... Makar Sankrati, Gudi Padva, and Cheti Chand are the New Year’s days in some other regions. All of these New Year’s regional festivals are observed with great enthusiasm and gusto.

Dr. Hiro Badlani :
“Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
Chapter 54: "Hindu Festivals"

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

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