New Year is
celebrated in different states of India under various names, for e.g.
Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Gudi Padava in Maharashtra. The
Sindhis celebrate it as Cheti chand. .
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 great Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya's calculations
proclaimed the Ugadi day from the sunrise on 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 (barren until now) acquiring new
life, shoots and leaves.
considered the first season of the year hence also heralding a new
year and a new beginning. The vibrancy of life and verdent fields,
meadows full of colorful blossoms signifies growth, prosperity and
With the coming
of Ugadi, the naturally perfumed jasmines (mallepulu) 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. Ugadi is thus a festival of many shades. It ushers in the new
year, brings a rich bounce of flora and fills the hearts of people
with joy and contentment!
It is a season
for raw mangoes spreading its aroma in the air and the fully blossomed
neem tree that makes the air healthy. Also, jaggery made with fresh
crop of sugarcane adds a renewed flavor to the typical dishes
associated with Ugadi.
is one such dish that has become synonymous with Ugadi. It is made of
new jaggery, raw mango pieces and neem flowers and new tamarind which
truly reflect life - a combination of sweet, sour and bitter tastes!
celebrated with festive fervor in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra
Pradesh. While it is called Ugadi in A.P. and Karnataka, in
Maharashtra it is known as "Gudi
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.
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 significance of tying mango leaves relates to a legend. It
is said that Kartik (or Subramanya or Kumara Swamy) and Ganesha, the
two sons of Lord Siva and Parvathi were very fond of mangoes. As the
legend goes Kartik exhorted people to tie green mango leaves to the
doorway signifying a good crop and general well-being.
noteworthy that we use mango leaves and coconuts (as in a Kalasam, to
initiate any pooja) only on auspicious occasions to propitiate gods.
People also splash fresh cow dung water on the ground in front of
their house and draw colorful 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.
The celebration of
Ugadi is marked by religious zeal and social merriment. Special dishes
are prepared for the occasion. 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
Maharashtrians make "puran poli" or sweet rotis.
Some find a
different way of celebrating the festival. Kavi Sammelanam (poetry
recitation) is a typical Telugu Ugadi feature. Ugadi is also a time
when people look forward to a literary feast in the form of Kavi
Sammelanam. Many poets come up with new poems written on subjects
ranging - from Ugadi - to politics to modern trends and lifestyles.
Sammelanam is also a launch pad for new and budding poets. It is
generally carried live on All India Radio's Hyderabad "A"
station and the Doordarshan,(TV) Hyderabad following "panchanga
sravanam" (New year calendar) narrating the way the new year
would shape up in the lives of people and the State in general. Kavis
(poets) of many hues - political, comic, satirical reformist, literary
and melancholic - make an appearance on the Ugadi stage.