Ugadi in 2018 will be observed on Sunday, 18th March. It is also known as Yugadi, Chandramana Varsha Thodaku, Chandramana Ugadi, and Vatsara Arambha. This day marks a new beginning or the commencement of a new era.People prepare for this festive occasion by cleaning and washing their houses and buying new clothes. When the day dawns, they decorate their houses with mango leaves and rangolis.
Then, they perform the ritualistic worship to pray for good health and prosperity in the coming year. It has become a custom to hold Kavi Sammelans (Poetry recitals) this day. The Ugadi day is also considered to be an auspicious time to begin any new ventures.
The traditional cuisine of this festival includes dishes like Pulihora and Bobbatlu, though the Ugadi Pachchadi is the typical dish associated with the festival. This dish is prepared with jaggery, raw mangoes, neem flowers and raw tamarind.
It is known by these names in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Like other years, this year too, Ugadi will be celebrated with great pomp and show. There are a set of customs and traditions that are observed on this special day. Read further to catch a glimpse of the celebrations and major events that take place throughout the country and also in some places overseas.
The celebrations begin at least a week prior to the main celebrations:
People clean their homes; decorate them with lights and rangolis.
New clothes are bought, gifts are exchanged and many household sweetmeats and candies are prepared for the grand occasion.
Rangolis are made in front of the house where color is the main ingredient. Different types of powdered colors are used and flowers and ornamental designs are made with them.
They adorn the entrance of every house and it is considered as lucky and it is believed that just like the colors in the rangoli, the household will be filled with joy and happiness in the coming year.
Family members take an oil bath and wear new clothes.
The altar of the deities are decorated. New clothes are also bought for the deities.
Usually the eldest member of the household perform the Ugadi puja.
Fresh flowers and incense sticks adorn the altar in the households.
Most of the houses display a chain of mango leaves strung in a rope on the front door and the other doors and windows of the houses.
Different types of dishes are prepared. One such dish, which is known as Ugadi pachadi, is a type pf preparation that everyone needs to eat. It is known as Bevu Bella in Karnataka. It is believed that the new life or the New Year you enter is a mixture of joyous as well as sad moments. As such, an individual ought to face both and carry on with life as it comes. Keeping this in mind, the Ugadi pachadi is prepared. It is a concoction of jaggery as well as neem leaves. While neem leaves impart the bitter taste, jaggery makes it sweet. So, it signifies both bitter as well as joyous experiences.
In addition to this traditional dish, there are various other food items that are prepared in almost all households. These include bobbatlu, holige, puliogure, and pulihora.
Another preparation that is typical of this occasion is preparing pickle with mango and tamarind. Since this is the time when fresh mangoes are available, preparing pickle is an all time favorite. Also added to tamarind and mango are red chilly powder, mustard powder, salt, and oil is used as medium. This preparation is referred to as avakai.
One of the main events of Ugadi is predicting the future. Since this day marks the beginning of a new year, people are too eager to know what’s in store for them. As such, they assemble at the temples to hear to the calendar of events.
This event is also known as panchangasravanam. However, these days, the announcement or proclamation of the yearly calendar is also broadcast on television.
Aside from the traditions that are observed on Ugadi, a number of other events take place. So, this year too, these events are expected to take place. Kavi Sammelanam or recitation of poetry is one of the popular events that take place
Local as well as poets from different parts of the country gather and cultural events are arranged.
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.