Ugadi is mostly celebrated in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra to mark the beginning of the 'New Year'. It takes place on the first day of the Chaitra month as per the Hindu calendar, which typically falls during March or April. This year the festival is observed on March 22. It represents new beginnings, prosperity, and the triumph of 'good over evil'.
The term 'Ugadi', also known as 'Yugadi', is derived from the Sanskrit words 'Yuga' and 'Adi' which means the beginning of a 'new age'.
On this day, devotees decorate their houses with mango leaves, draw rangoli, buy ethnic clothes, and also distribute food and clothes among poor people. People also prepare a variety of traditional dishes like Ugadi Pachadi (chutney), Pulihora (lemon rice), Bobbatlu, Bevu Bella, and more. This day is also celebrated as 'Gudi Padwa' in Maharashtra and 'Yugadi' in Karnataka.
Ugadi is celebrated with great devotion and fervour in South India. It is believed that Lord Brahma created the universe on this day, and that's why it is considered to be one of the auspicious days of the year. Ugadi also marks the onset of spring, which symbolises renewal, growth, and prosperity.
On this auspicious day, people offer prayers in the temple and consume neem leaves. In some places, devotees also prepare a paste of neem leaves mixed with jaggery, coriander seeds, and tamarind. According to ancient texts, consuming neem purifies blood function and increases immunity to fight against diseases. Apart from neem, green chili, and pepper also help us to keep our temper under control.
Traditional oil bath
Some of the traditional practices include taking an oil bath on Ugadi. It is strongly believed that Goddess Lakshmi is present in the oil and Goddess Ganga in the water on Ugadi. Devotees seek blessings from both goddesses on this day.
Popular 'Ugadi' food
The 'Ugdi' food which is famous in states like Telangana and Andhra is 'Ugadi Pachadi' (chutney). This drink consists of all 6 tastes, namely sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent, symbolising the different experiences of life. It is believed that consuming this food item on Ugadi brings good luck and prosperity throughout the year.
Every region has its own tastes. In Karnataka, people prepare 'Bevu Bella', which is quite popular among the locals. A mixture of neem leaves and jaggery is eaten by people on this occasion.
If you want to experience the traditions and foods of South India, visit the places on Ugadi. One can experience the vibrancy of such festivals with near ones on this day. (ANI)