About Ugadi- Telugu New Year

Ugadi is the New Year celebration for the people of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana states in India. The term Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit words Yuga (age) and Adi (beginning), which means the beginning of a new age. It is observed on the first day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Chaitra, which falls in the month of March or April of the Gregorian calendar. It is highly believed that Lord Brahma started creating the elements of the Earth on this day. People start preparing for this festival almost a week before by cleaning their houses and buying new clothes and gifts for the family members. They start their day by taking a special bath followed by oil treatment and then visiting the temple where they pray to God for the good health and prosperity in the coming year. The special food called pachadi is prepared and relished in every household. The pachadi is a prominent Ugadi food that includes all the flavors of sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. It is a symbol to remind people that one must expect all flavors of experiences in the New Year and live it to the fullest. The festival of Ugadi is also considered a lucky day to start a new business venture, buy a new house or a vehicle. The message of Ugadi festival is to rise above all happiness, sorrow, failure, and success in life and accept it as one’s own good.

How is Ugadi or Telugu New Year Celebrated in India?

Ugadi, also known as Yugadi in Karnataka is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm.

  • On this day, people draw beautiful rangoli called kolamulus on the floor and decorate mango leaves on their doors, which is called toranalu. The significance of tying mango leaves relates to a legend. It is believed that Kartik and Ganesha, the sons of Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati were very fond of mangoes. Therefore, Kartik encouraged people to tie green mango leaves on their door that signifies general well-being and yield of the good crop.
  • The idols of Gods and Goddesses are cleaned with oil on Ugadi.
  • People buy and offer gifts to their loved ones such as new clothes, sweets, and jewelry on Ugadi as a token of love and care.
  • Offering charity to the poor and needy people is also one of the major traditions of the Ugadi festival celebration.
  • People gather to listen to the recitation of the religious Panchangam of the New Year and the forecast of the coming year. This function is called Panchanga Sravanam where an elderly and respected person reads the almanac.
  • A juice is prepared by mixing neem flowers, jaggery water, and mango scraps, which is consumed empty stomach after the pujas. This juice is considered quite beneficial for health.
  • Special dishes and sweets are prepared on the occasion of Ugadi such as Bobbatu, Atukulu Payasam, Pulihora, Nimmakaya Annam, Rava Pulihora, etc., which are greatly relished by all family members.
  • Several street processions are taken out on the occasion of Ugadi followed by traditional dance performances and flag-waving.

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