India is known for its cultural and ethnic diversity, which implies that it is a land of various festivals. Celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, Ugadi is the celebration of New Year.
The day is celebrated on Chaitra Suddha Padhyami. According to Hindu beliefs Lord Brahma, the Hindu pantheon, created the world on this day and therefore it is regarded as auspicious for a new beginning. The date of Ugadi varies between the months of March and April of the Gregorian calendar.
Ugadi declares the onset of spring when the Flame of the Forest (Butea Frondosa) and jasmine blossoms and the air gets filled with the fragrance of green mangoes.
The people of the region are known to be very religious and so, Ugadi is celebrated with strict religious intonation. People living in the north of Vindhya hills observe the day as “Barhaspatyamana” while the community living in south call it “Sauramana” or “Chandramana”. They celebrate Ugadi during the full moon cycle of Chaitra. Different rituals are also followed by various sects of Brahmins. Nonetheless, the celebration is marked with its general spirit of fun and merriment.
The preparation for the celebration begins well in advance. People start with cleaning their houses and making rangolis at the entrances. The cleaning ritual is said to signify washing off the grimes of the past and preparing oneself for a new beginning. The rangoli at the entrance is said to ward off the evil and usher good fortune and prosperity to the household. They also hang mango leaves at entrances as a sign of good luck. People also buy new clothes and utensils for Ugadi.
On the day, prayers are offered to Gods at temples to receive their blessings. People take an early shower and gather at the temples to listen to ‘panchangasravanam’ or the yearly predictions made by the priests. People pray for good health, good harvest, prosperity, peace and happiness. “Ugadi pachchadi” a dish made of raw mango, neem buds, salt, green chili, tamarind and jaggery is prepared and eaten. Each item of the preparation represents the different emotions in one’s life such as sadness, happiness, anger, fear, disgust, and surprise.
Kavi Sammelanam or poetry recitation meets are very common features of Ugadi celebration. For the young ones the festival stands for new clothes, delicious food and fun. Traditional dishes are prepared and enjoyed with family and friends.
Send Ugadi cards to your friends and relatives –