Ugadi festival
Ugadi festivalReuters

Gudi Padwa or Ugadi is a festival that is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar. It marks the beginning of the traditional Hindu year and also symbolises good harvest.

Gudi Padwa is one of the major festivals of Maharashtra and is celebrated with much zeal. People dress in traditional costumes to mark the festival. The Ugadi festival is also celebrated in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well.

On this day, people worship the "Gudi" - a decorated pole on one end of which is placed an upside-down silver, brass or copper vessel along with a silk cloth. This ensemble is placed near the door or window of the house on the day of the festival. People wear new clothes and greet each other with sweets. Traditional Maharashtrian dishes like Puran Poli and Shrikhand are prepared in every Maharashtrian household to celebrate Gudi Padwa.

In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, people celebrate the festival as Ugadi (Yugadi).

Early in the morning, people take oil bath and wear new clothes. Women don the tradition gajra and raw silk sari. Kannadigas decorate their doors with colourful rangolis. A vessel (kalash) fill of water and coconut on the top is placed on the front door. This ensemble is considered to be very auspicious.

Just like any other festivals, Ugadi is also incomplete without food. Obbattu (which is similar to Puran Poli in Maharastra), is prepared on this day in every household in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Also, Pachadi (also known as Bevu Bella), which is a paste of raw mango, tamarind, neem and jaggery is prepared. It is a sweet and sour dish and symbolises that life is a combination of happy and sad events.