Telugu New Year is celebrated every year with a lot of fervor and enthusiasm. Ugadi is observed as the beginning of a new calendar in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. A number of traditions are observed on this day throughout the country and in those places where people celebrate Ugadi New Year.
Some call this day the beginning of a new astronomical cycle; few think of this day as a brand new beginning. Irrespective of what you think of this day, you cannot deny the fact that it is a day to welcome a new era.
This is a time when you can look forward to new beginnings both personally as well as professionally.
Let us delve deeper into few important aspects of Ugadi and how it is likely to be celebrated this year.
This year Ugadi is being celebrated on April 4th. So, the first thing members of the household do is have an oil bath. Sesame oil is common.
Other hair oils are used too. Starting from the youngest member of the house to the eldest, it is mandatory for everyone to take the oil bath.
Once the oil bath ceremony concludes, people wear new dresses. In fact, prior to that they make the deities wear the new clothes.
You will come across many young boys who get their scalp massaged with different types of hair oil.
Since it is a new beginning, celebrations are not complete unless there is a puja service. Puja or prayers are offered, bhajans or kirtans are sung.
The altar is adorned with colorful flowers and candles. The head of the household is responsible for carrying out the customs of worshipping God.
A special prayer service, which is known as Panchanga Puja is arranged for Ugadi New Year. A small table is placed in one corner.
A copy of the new Panchanga is placed on it. The panchanga is adorned with kumkum, turmeric paste, and sandalwood. On it are placed, uncooked rice, fresh flowers, and turmeric powder. Mantras are chanted and puja is offered.
People ask for blessings so that the New Year brings with it a lot of happiness and luck. Once the panchanga is arranged people gather round it to hear the yearly predictions.
The youngsters of the family seek blessings of the elderly people of the household. There are times when the navagraha puja or puja of the nine planets are arranged on this auspicious day.
Rangoli Decoration Rangoli is a work of art in which colored powder is used. Different designs and shapes are made with the powder. In many places a rangoli contest is held.
The one who is able to impress the judge with the fabulous artwork takes away the reward. These contests are usually held as a part of the celebrations on Ugadi New Year.
Other types of home decoration include hanging mango leaves in front of the main door. Brass containers kalasam are also placed in front of the doors.
This is a symbol of good luck and forms part of the Ugadi New Year decorations.
Ugadi Pachadi and Ugadi Recipes Ugadi pachadi as it is commonly known as is a special preparation for the day.
The main ingredients used in this preparation include chilly powder, neem leaves, jaggery, mustard seeds, raw mangoes, oil, and salt to taste. Since it is made of both jaggery and neem leaves, the taste is bitter, sour, and sweet.
This preparation is given to everyone in the household. It is also distributed in the temples.
There are a number of other recipes that you can prepare for the occasion. The names of few such recipes include the following –
In many cities, towns, and also villages, kavi sammelan or poetry sessions are held. These are cultural gatherings where well known poets recite their verses.
These events are particularly helpful for the ones who are looking for a platform or spring board to get noticed.
Aside from the poetry sessions, in many places special events are held. These include dramas, musical evenings, and different types of cultural programs. In most of the cases, the venues for these programs are the cultural centers and the temples of South India.
Temples continue to be the venue for the cultural activities in Ugadi New Year in cities outside India too.