The name Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit word name Yuga “age” and a “starting” that means the starting of the new world. This festival falls in early April or late March according to the western calendar as moon signifies the change in the calendar which means Ugadi is the spring festival.
Ugadi is considered as the New Year Day for the people of Telugu and Kannada communities of India. The festival Ugadi is celebrated because people believe that Lord Brahma created the universe on Ugadi. It’s a nine-day long festival celebrated in Vasant Navratri which begins with the first day of Navratri and ends on Ram Navami. People believe that Lord Brahma started creating the world on this day which is also known as “Chaitra SuddhaPadhyami” or you can also call it “Ugadi Day”. Ugadi 2019 is declared as Public Holiday in the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.
How is Ugadi Celebrated?
People start preparing for the festival in advance and begin to a custom common in many festivals which lies in the spring season. On the day of the festival it is a tradition that people get up before dawn for a ceremony known as “Abhyang”. This means people take a head bath after massaging with sesame oil. Ugadi indicates that spring and warm weather is arriving soon. It is a joyous festival which signifies growth and prosperity. People consider to put the errors of the past behind and make predictions to start a new venture from the day ahead.
The food which is prepared in Ugadi is Bevu Bella (It is a kind of paste made from jaggery, neem buds, tamarind juice, and raw mango). The paste is a very good combination of sweet and sour taste. People think that a combination of different taste reflects that life is a combination of sweet and sad memories. People of Maharashtra celebrate this festival as GudiPadwa.
Preparation of Ugadi
Preparation of Ugadi starts a week before as people started cleaning their house. People buy new clothes for everyone in the family. It is important to see one image in a bowl full of melted ghee after taking a bath and before eating anything.
Ladies make the beautiful colorful rangoli at the entrance of their house. Also, a “toran” made of fresh mango leaves is decorated at the entrance of the house in order to welcome New Year.
People buy new clothes and ornaments for celebrating this day.
There is a custom of giving oil bath to the idol of the Lord also the elder woman of the house applies Kumkum on the forehead of all the family members of the house. Idol of Lord is also adorned with the garland of white jasmine flowers and fresh clothes. The entire family gets together to offer prayer to the Lord.
Once the prayer is over it is a custom of worshipping ‘Panchang’ an elder person of the house read out the Panchang so that every family member can hear.
The special food which is prepared for this festival is first offered to the Lord and then distributed among the family members in the form of Prasad.
All the devotees also visit to the temple to take blessings from the lord. Also, people visit each other’s house for wishing Ugadi. In the temple, the priest read the Panchang for all to hear this custom is known as ‘PanchangSravanam’.
Famous Dishes Prepared in Ugadi
Some popular dishes made such as (Puliharo tangy spicy fried rice), Bobbatlu (It is Bengal gram coconut filled dumplings), Mango Pachdi, Moon Dal Payasam, Vada, etc. People make multiple dishes and share with each other for celebrating this festival.
This different flavor of foods indicates the different values of life such as sweet indicate happiness, sour indicates the sadness; the flavor of neem indicates the challenges which you face in your day to day life. The chilly flavor indicates the angriness in life and sour indicates the interesting facts about life.
Women wear sarees such as Bangalore Silk or Kanjivaram in bright colors with thick zari border. Gajra of white jasmine flower and gold jewelry which consist of earrings, neckless and other ornaments.
The young girls in the family are also dressed up in the new clothes such as Lehenga cholis, Maang tikkas, jasmine flower in the hair and gold jewelry.
The festival is celebrated for the same region everywhere but accepting the truth that the method of celebration might have slight changes as per the reason.
Ugadi in the US
People of Indian community especially who belongs to Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Sindhi’s celebrate this festival in the US as well as they follow all the customs and prayers in the same manner as it is done in India.
Ugadi in North India
In most of the North Indian states, Ugadi begins with the first day of Navratri and ends with last day that Ram Navami.
Ugadi in Karnataka
In Karnataka Ugadi is known as Yugadi, It is a very important day there and is marked as the beginning of New Year according to the Kannada calendar.
Ugadi in Maharashtra
In Maharashtra it is known as GudiPadwa, there is a slight difference in the rituals of GudiPadwa. Although the reason and essence are the same behind celebrating the festival. It is considered as the beginning of New Year according to the Marathi Calendar.
Ugadi in Rajasthan
The Marwari community in Rajasthan celebrates this festival as Thapna. People consider this day as New Year according to the Marwari calendar.
Ugadi in Bali and Indonesia
The people of Bali and Indonesia celebrate Ugadi as Nyepi.
Although there are so many festivals celebrated in India but the craze of Ugadi is something which is beyond imagination. This festival is popular among all age group people and is celebrated with pomp and show in India as well as outside India.