Celebrate Ugadi: Telugu New Year

mago leaves doorway ugadi
Entrances to homes are decorated with mango leaves to herald good fortune and signal a new beginning.

Celebrated by: Telugu speaking people
Marks: The beginning of the new year
Religion: Hindu
In the month of: March 2014
Date: 31 March

Ugadi is the New Year Day for the Telugu speaking people who hail primarily Andhra Pradesh. For the Telugu & Kannada speaking people, Ugadi day begins with an extensive oil bath. Rangolis or Kolams are drawn in front of homes and doors and windows are decorated with a ‘thorana’ – mango leaves strung together. The green mango leaves tied to the doorway signify a good crop and general well being. Then, it is time for the preparation of the famous ‘Ugadi Pachadi’ of Andhra Pradesh. In Karnataka, it is the ‘Bevu Bella.’

It is a season for raw mangoes spreading its aroma in the air and the fully blossomed Neem tree that makes the air healthy. Also, jaggery made with fresh crop of sugarcane adds a renewed flavour to the typical dishes associated with Ugadi.

The first dish of the New Year
“Ugadi Pachchadi” is one such dish that has become synonymous with Ugadi. It is

Ugadi South Africa
A typical Ugadi festive meal

distributed on the day is a unique dish with a mixture of six tastes ranging from sweet to bitter. It comprises of jaggery, raw mango, tamarind, neem flowers, salt and green chilli. This is the first dish that people have on Ugadi day.

Ugadi Pachadi has an important symbolic meaning that life brings different experiences ranging from sweet to bitter. Therefore each individual should learn to take the different experiences in one’s stride and move ahead.

In Andhra Pradesh, indian food such as “Pulihora”, “Bobbatlu” and preparations made with raw mango go well with the occasion. In Karnataka too, similar preparations are made but called “Puliogure” and “Holige”. The Maharashtrians make “Puran Poli” or sweet ‘Rotis’.

Other rituals

  • At night, it is considered highly auspicious to look at the moon. This is referred as Ugadi Chandra Darshana.
  • A major event on the day is “Panchanga Sravanam” – predictions for the year. It is organized at temples and by cultural and social organizations.

Significance
It is believed that the creator of the Hindu pantheon Lord Brahma started creation on Ugadi day. The onset of spring also marks a beginning of new life with plants acquiring new life, shoots and leaves. The vibrancy of life and verdant fields, meadows full of colourful blossoms signify growth, prosperity and well-being.

All experiences have to be treated with equanimity. Every one should make a resolve that he will face calmly whatever happens in this year, accepting it with good grace and welcoming everything. Consider everything as for one’s own good. Men should rise above sorrow and happiness, success and failure. This is the primary message of the Ugadi festival.


About Naufal Khan

Publisher & editor of Indian Spice.

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