Ugadi-Telugu New Year Festival Story And Its Significance
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Ugadi celebrations across Andhra Pradesh mark the beginning of a new calendar year…
Hindu Festival Ugadi-Telugu New Year Introduction:
The story goes that Lord Brahma first started creation on Ugadi day. Literally translated Ugadi (yuga + adi) means the beginning of a new epoch. Ugadi is a day for families to get-together. Homes undergo spring cleaning and are decorated with strings of mango leaves. It is also the day for an oil bath at the crack of dawn, offering prayers to mark the beginning of the New Year and listening to the recitation of the Almanac (panchang) by a family elder or the priest.
Ugadi Festival-Telugu New Year Significance:
It is believed that the creator of the Hindu pantheon Lord Brahma started creation on this day – “Chaitra Suddha Padhyami” or the Ugadi day. Also the calculations of the great Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya proclaim the Ugadi day as the beginning of the New Year, New month and New day. The onset of spring also marks a beginning of new life with plants acquiring new life, shoots and leaves. The vibrancy of life and verdant fields, meadows full of colourful blossoms signify growth, prosperity and well-being.
With the coming of Ugadi, the naturally perfumed Jasmine’s spread a sweet fragrance, which is perhaps unmatched by any other in nature’s own creation. While large garlands of Jasmine are offered to Gods in homes and temples, Jasmine flowers woven in clusters adorn the braids of women.
Preparations for Ugadi Festival:
Preparations for the festival begin a week ahead. Houses are given a thorough wash. Shopping for new clothes and buying other items that go with the requirements of the festival are done with a lot of excitement.
Ugadi is celebrated with festive fervour in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. While it is called Ugadi in Andhara and Karnataka, in Maharashtra it is known as “Gudipadava”.
On Ugadi day, people wake up before the break of dawn and take a head bath after, which they decorate, the entrance of their houses with fresh mango leaves. The green mango leaves tied to the doorway signify a good crop and general well being. It is noteworthy that one uses mango leaves and coconuts (as in a ‘Kalasam’, to initiate any puja) only on auspicious occasions to propitiate gods.
People also splash fresh cow dung water on the ground in front of their house and draw colourful floral designs. This is a common sight in every household. People perform the ritualistic worship to God invoking his blessings before they start off with the New Year. They pray for their health, wealth and prosperity and success in business too. Ugadi is also the most auspicious time to start new ventures.
Special Dishes for Ugadi Festival
“Ugadi Pachchadi” is one such dish that has become synonymous with Ugadi. bitter-sweet chutney is made from Neem buds, jaggery, raw mango, tamarind juice and seasoned with chilly, pepper and salt. Symbolically it signifies the six different tastes of life: ranging from bitterness, sweetness and sadness to surprise, anger, fear and disgust.
All experiences have to be treated with equanimity. Every one should make a resolve that he will face calmly whatever happens in this year, accepting it with good grace and welcoming everything. Consider everything as for one’s own good. Men should rise above sorrow and happiness, success and failure. This is the primary message of the Ugadi festival.
In Andhra Pradesh, eatables such as “Pulihora”, “Bobbatlu” and preparations made with raw mango go well with the occasion. In Karnataka too, similar preparations are made but called “Puliogure” and “Holige”. The Maharashtra make “Puran Poli” or sweet ‘Rotis’.