New year is filled with new opportunities, new hopes and of course new resolutions.Ugadi, the New Year festival of Karnataka, AndhraPradesh, and Telangana is celebrated with great Zest and Zeal. It is that time of the year when families gather to welcome the New Year. The term ‘Ugadi’ originates from the Sanskrit word ‘Yugadi’, that means ‘starting of a new Yuga or period’.
The nine-day long spring festival of Navratri begins on this day and ends after nine days on the mark of Ramnavami.Legend has it that Lord Brahma started the creation of the vast universe on the auspicious day of Ugadi. Ugadi marks a change in the lunar orbit as well as the beginning of the new Hindu lunar calendar. It marks the start of spring. Flower blossom, plants, and seedling are nourished by nature itself.
As spring accompanies new life on earth, this festival of New Year accompanies a feeling of joy, growth, and prosperity. The nine-day long spring festival of Navratri begins on this day and ends after nine days on the mark of Ramnavami.
The most important thing in the festival is Panchanga Shravanam — hearing of the Panchanga (in simple terms, yearly horoscope). The Shravanam is done at the temples by the priests. It reminds us of the creator — Brahma. It is believed that reading or even listening to the Panchanga is equivalent to a dip in the holy Ganga.
The houses and temples are decorated with flowers and mango leaves. Family members gather and pray together and seek blessings from the Lord Almighty during Ugadi celebrations. Vepapoota Pachhadi (neem flower pickle) is drunk on an empty stomach. It is a syrup made of six elements (Shadaruchulu), namely jaggery, salt, neem leaves, coconut, mango and tamarind pulp. These six elements signify that life is filled with not only love, joy, happiness but also with hatred, sadness and dullness. There comes a time for everything and everything isn’t permanent.
People also splash fresh cow dung water on the ground in front of their house and draw Rangoli. 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.
Apart from Pachhadi, several other dishes are also prepared to celebrate the festival. Among the famous dishes cooked on this occasion are pulihora, holige (obbattu) and preparations made with raw mango go well with the occasion.