Leaving the past behind and starting a fresh year with positive expectation is one of the key aspects of Yugadi/Ugadi. The popular legend associated with the festival is assumed that the Lord Brahma started creation of the universe on this auspicious day of Yugadi.
This day also marks the beginning of spring season. It is considered as auspicious time for commencing new ventures. Devotees perform ritualistic pooja’s and seek blessings from God for health, wealth, prosperity, and success in businesses and work as well.
It is the day where ‘New Year” is celebrated in many states. While it is called Ugadi/Yugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, in Maharashtra it is known as Gudipadwa.
So you all might be thinking that why the name Ugadi/Yugadi? How it arrived? right.. we will come to that now.
As the name itself specifies Yuga (means age), adi (means the beginning) derived from Sanskrit – “the beginning of new age”. The Panchanga-Hindu calendar (Lunisolar calendar) begins with the month of Chaitra (i.e., March-April) and the Yugadi falls on the first day of the Hindu calendar. The most important thing in the festival is Panchanga Shravanam – hearing of the Panchanga.
Preparations for Ugadi
Preparations for the festival begin a week ahead. Houses are cleaned. People buy new clothes for themselves and family members.
Celebration of Ugadi
Most people also decorate their homes and Pooja rooms with flowers and strings of mango leaves. People also splash cow dung water on the ground in front of their house and draw colourful floral designs(Rangoli’s). This is a common sight in every household.
Rituals On Ugadi
The festival is wrapped in traditions. Devotees wake up early in the morning before the dawn. Several rituals are followed during the day. The common rituals are:
- Abhyanga: Taking of oil bath by all members of the family.
- New Dresses: Wearing of new clothes.
- Front door decoration: Decorating the front door with Rangoli and Mango leaves.
- Pooja: Pooja is followed by Abhisheka, Alankara, Naivedhya and Mangalarati.
- Offering(Naivedhya): Offering flowers of neem, mango and tamarind to the Gods.
- Panchanga Pooja: After worshipping God, Panchanga for the New Year is worshipped. Later, people traditionally gather to listen to the recitation of the religious Panchangam of the new year, and the general forecast of the year to come. This is called the Panchanga Shravanam.
- Bevu Bella: Eating of jaggery and neem together in this festival to mark the presence of sweet and bitter events in life’s journey.The main item prepared in Ugadi festival is Bevu bella. It’s actually a paste made of these :
- Jaggery – for sweetness, signifies Happiness
- Neem Leaves- for bitterness, signifies Sadness
- Raw mango-for tanginess, signifies Surprise (Check out Raw mango Appe huli recipe here)
- Salt- for saltiness, signifies Fear
- Tamarind- for sour, signifies Disgust
- Green Chilli- its hot taste, signifies Anger
The special mixture also mean each flavour, stands for some feeling or emotion which is natural in life.
Some special dish Holige(or Obbattu) is also prepared. which is served along with ghee and sugar syrup.
Wish you all very Happy Ugadi..:)
Please write your comments how did you celebrate your Ugadi..