Happy New Year to all of you!
Gudi Padava/Ugadi is one of the most important festivals for us. It marks the beginning of a new year and we celebrate it in a grand fashion.
Disclaimer – Please note that the below documented pooja is the way I perform it based on what I have learnt from my parents/inlaws. We are Marathi Madhwas (Desistha) and I usually try to follow whatever I can with my limited time and resources. Please check with your respective families before performing the functions. Constructive feedback is welcome.
Ugadi marks the new year and is celebrated with new clothes, sweets and by opening the new calendar (Panchanga). (Some families also keep the Gudi with stick etc but since that is not done in our family, I have not updated that here)
- Mango leaves (For thoran outside the house)
- Rangoli powder (Kola maavu)
- Paat (Plank)
- New year calendar (Panchanga for the new year)
- Diva/Lamps for lighting
- Fruits, Flowers and Cocunut
- Haldi, Kumkum, Mantarakshata, Vasthra
1) Take oil bath and wear new dresses (if you have purchased for Ugadi) (Usually when new dresses are bought, before wearing them, the elders in the family keep it in front of God and put some kumkum on it and then give it to the person wearing it along with their blessings)
2) Make a rangoli outside the house – you could do an elaborate one if you have the time.
3) Make Thoran out of the Mango leaves and tie it outside the house (on the door) or for the entrance of the pooja room.
4) On the Paat, Make a rangoli and place the new Panchanga. Light lamps in front of it along with Incense sticks(Agarbathi). Keep haldi, kumkum, mantarakshata, vasthra and flowers on a tray for the pooja. Also keep the fruits and broken coconut on another tray for neivaidya.
5) Do pooja by putting the kumkum, haldi, mantarakshata, vasthra and flowers for the Panchanga. Also do aarathi and do neivaidya of all the fruits. Do namaskara.
6) Thank God for the previous year and pray for a great year ahead.
7) Once the food is ready, do neivaidya of the food before eating.
Menu/Neivaidya items –
As in the case of most festivals, typical madhwa festival food is prepared –
- Kosambari, Paanaga, Buttermilk
- Kadi or Pitla or both
- Saaru (Rasam)
- Neem flower pachadi (Vepampu pachadi) – New Year Special
Out of the above, the Neem flower Pachadi (recipe below) and Kheer are definitely prepared for the New year celebrations. The rest of the items are as per your time and convenience.
Neem Flower Pachadi Recipe –
This pachadi has ingredients which give it a sweet-bitter-sour tangy taste. This is eaten on Ugadi day to signify that Life will be a mix of sweet-bitter-sour experiences and we should learn to accept all these elements in our life.
- Neem Flowers (Few numbers)
- Tamarind juice
- Raw Mango pieces
- Salt to taste and a Pinch of haldi powder
First clean the neem flowers. In a small kadai, dry roast the Neem flowers (very lightly). Then add the tamarind juice, jaggery and raw mango pieces to this along with a pinch of salt and haldi. Just let it simmer a little and take it off the flame. (If you let it boil too much it would end up being too bitter and you dont want that element to rule your life 😛 )
- Try to get all the things you need for the Pooja and keep it ready on the previous day. If Ugadi is a working day for you, you could even do the Rangoli etc on the previous day.
- Plan your menu and make sure you have all the ingredients stocked up in the kitchen (I never do this and land up having a grumpy hubby on the festival day as he has to go in the last minute to pick up stuff from the grocery store ;-)). You could also do some of the activities like cutting veggies, grating coconut etc and store them in the fridge.
- Enjoy the festival and dont worry if you are not able to do everything!