Gudi Padwa marks the first day of Holi, and is also the beginning of the new year, new month, and falls on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. It is famously known as Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
It is believed that on this day Lord Brahma created the universe. Therefore, it carries a lot of importance for Hindus. The day is usually celebrated with an auspicious bath, followed by decorating the doorway or entrance to the home with a toran, and performing ritualistic puja and hoisting the traditional ‘Gudi’.

Legend has it.
There are many legends mentioned in religious scriptures associated with Gudi Padwa. According to the most famous one in Brahma Purana, Lord Brahma recreated the world after a devastating flood. This point in time is believed to mark the beginning of Satyug.
Gudi Padwa is also said to mark the period of ‘sade-teen mahurat’in the Hindu calendar when each second of the day is considered highly auspicious.

Common Rituals
Since the festival is dedicated to Lord Brahma, special flags called Brahmadhvaj are raised in his honour. Some flags are also referred to as the flag of Indra, or Indradhvaj. Also, devotees worship Gudi and offer their prayers in honour of the creator, Lord Brahma.

Puja Vidhi
Devotees should start the day by taking a bath with warm water, followed by drawing rangoli on the ground.
Then mixture of haldi or kumkum is placed in the middle of the swastika.
At the doorway, a toran (made up of mango leaves and marigold flowers) needs to be hanged.
Prasad, usually Shrikhand is prepared.
Diyas are lit, Lord Brahma is worshipped, and prasad is offered at his feet.
The New Year Panchang is purchased on this day and placed at the feet of the deity the family worships.
The next day, water is consumed from the copper pot which was placed at the top of the bamboo pole, as it is considered to be from the pot which transmits the prajapati from the Divine of Consciousness.

Aarti/Katha in Hindi
हेभगवानब्रह्मा ,भगवानविष्णु !





happy-gudi-padwa-wishes-pictureAarti/Katha in English
O Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu! Please enable me to absorb the principle of creation and the fire principle present in the atmosphere. Let the divine consciousness present in these principles be preserved constantly. Let the energy thus received, be used for my spiritual practice.

Curd (Yogurt), not sour – 3 Cups
Powdered sugar – 1/4 Cup + 2 tbsp(or according to taste)
Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
Almonds and cashew nuts, roughly chopped–10 to 15 pieces

Note: To prepare Shrikhand, use curd that is not sour, otherwise the Shrikhand will also turn sour.
Spread a clean muslin cloth or cheese cloth over a large strainer on a big plate. Place plain curd in the centre.
Wrap it from all sides and tightly tie the muslin cloth.
Put curd in a refrigerator for around 6 to 7 hours or until water is drained out from the curd. Place an empty container below it to collect the drained curd liquid. The curd should turn thick.
After 6-7 hours, untie the muslin cloth and transfer the thick strained curd to a bowl.
Add sugar and cardamom powder.
Mix properly using a hand-beater or a spoon until it reaches a smooth consistency.
Add chopped almonds and cashew nuts and mix well. Refrigerate the Shrikhand for at least an hour before serving.
Serve chilled.

Sela chawal (parboiled rice)picked, washed and soaked for about an hour – 1 Cup

Sugar – 1 ¼ Cup

Water – 4 cups

Kesar (saffron)soaked in hot milk – ½ tsp

Laung (cloves) –2 to 3

Chhoti elaichi (green cardamoms) –4 Cloves

Raisins –10 to 12

Shredded almonds – 5

Ghee – ¼ Cup

Boil water and add rice. When it boils, lower the heat and simmer till the rice is almost cooked (do this for about 12 minutes). Drain the rice again and rinse twice in cold water. Then leave in a colander to drain.

In a heavy-base pan, heat ghee and fry raisins and almonds. Sauté till they change colour. Remove the contents and keep them aside.Add rice, milk mixture, laung, elaichi to the ghee and mix well.

Lower the heat, remove half of the rice and sprinkle half the quantity of sugar. Then layer the rest of the rice and pour the remaining sugar over it. Put the lid on and place the pan over a griddle (tawa) over low heat for about half an hour. Serve hot, garnished with raisins and nuts.

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