Ugadi Telugu New Year Festival of Deccan Region India

Ugadi is the "Telugu New Year's Day" for the people of the Deccan region of IndiaThis Festival is celebrated on 1st day of Chaitra Masam on Chaitra Shuddha Padyami. Generally in March and Occasionally in April every year. This Festival marks the "New Year Day" for people between Vindhyas and Kaveri river who follow the South Indian lunar calendar, pervasively adhered to in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa It is a public holiday in the following regions: Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh. In some parts of India it is known as Vikram Samvat or Bhartiya Nav Varsh. On this day new Samvatsara, which is cycle of sixty years, starts. All sixty Samvatsara (years) are identified by unique name.

Telugu New Year- Ugadi Festival

Telugu New Year- Ugadi Festival

Ugadi is New Year according to Luni-Solar calendar which considers the position of the Moon and the position of the Sun to divide the year into months and days as a result of which the Hindu New Year is celebrated twice in the year with different names and at two different times of the year. It falls on a different day every year because the Hindu Calendar is a Lunisolar Calendar. The Saka Calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March–April) and Ugadi marks the first day of the new year. Chaitra is the first month in Panchanga which is in the Indian calendar.

The Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Kodava and the Konkani diaspora in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Kerala celebrate the festival with great fanfare; gatherings of the extended family and a sumptuous feast are a must. The day begins with ritual showers with oil, followed by prayers. This tri-state festival could be the result of the common rulers from the Satavahana Dynasty.

Preparations for the Occasion:

As done for all festivals, preparations for the festival begins a week ahead. Firstly, Houses are given a thorough wash by the people of India and and Indians residing Abroad. Secondly, Shopping for new clothes and buying other items required for the festival are done with a lot of excitement.

On Ugadi Day, people wake up before the break of dawn and the day begins with ritual oil-bath followed by prayers. Oil bath and eating Neem leaves are must rituals suggested by scriptures. North Indians don’t celebrate Ugadi but start nine days Chaitra Navratri Puja on the same day and also eat Neem with Mishri on the very first day of Navratri.

Each one of the family member participates with joy and fun in decorating the entrance of their houses with fresh mango leaves,as significance of tying Mango Leaves relates to a legend. In Puranas 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 hence the legend goes Kartik exhorted people to tie green mango leaves to the doorway signifying a good crop and general well-being.

Mango Leaf Toranam on Doors

Mango Leaf Toranam on Doors

From our forefathers it is noteworthy that we use mango leaves and coconuts (as in a Kalasam, to initiate any pooja) only on auspicious occasions to propitiate gods. A common sight in every household is seen as people splash fresh cow dung water on the ground in front of their house and draw colorful floral designs and rangolis made of powdered rice. On this day prayers are done to God by people for their health, wealth and prosperity and success in business too. Ugadi is also the most auspicious time to start new ventures and people greet each other saying Ugadi Shubhakankshalu.

Mango leafs and Coconut in a Kalasam

Mango leafs and Coconut in a Kalasam

On this auspicious day South Indian People prepare special Ugadi Pachadi which is also called as Shad Ruchulu (Shad means Six and Ruchulu means Taste).

The special mixture of Ugadi Pachadi consists of all flavours which tongue can perceive and one must taste it on that day as each flavour stands for some feeling or emotion which truly reflect as natural in life - a combination of six different tastes sweet, sour, spice, salt, tanginess and bitter tastes symbolizing happiness, disgust, anger, fear, surprise and sadness.

Ugadi Pachadi

Ugadi Pachadi

The items used in Ugadi Pachadi:

Neem Buds/Flowers for its bitterness, signifying sadness
Jaggery for sweetness, signifying happiness
Green Chilli/Pepper for its hot taste, signifying anger
Salt for saltiness, signifying fear
Tamarind Juice for its sourness, signifying disgust
Unripened Mango for its tang, signifying surprise

Ugadi Pachhadi Ingredients

Ugadi Pachhadi Ingredients

The celebration of Ugadi is marked by religious zeal and social merriment. Special dishes are prepared for the occasion as we can see in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, eatables such as "Pulihora", "Bobbatlu" (Bhakshalu/ polelu/ oligalu) and "Ugadi Pachadi" and other preparations made with raw mango go well with the occasion as chutneys, dals etc.

Other dishes served on Ugadi Pulihora and Bobbatlu

Other dishes served on Ugadi Pulihora and Bobbatlu

In Karnataka too, similar preparations are made but called "Puliogure" and "Holige". The Maharashtrians make "Puran Poli" or Sweet Rotis.

Predictions for the Year:

It marks the beginning of a new Hindu Lunar Calendar with a change in the moon's orbit, a day when mantras are chanted and predictions made for the new year. Traditionally, the "Panchangasravanam" or listening to the yearly calendar was done at the temples or at the Town square but nowadays with the onset of Modern Technology, one can get to hear the priest-scholar on Television Sets, Mobiles and Internet right in one's living room.

Panchanga Sravanam

The World famous Bhagavan Kovil celebrates Ugadi every year.

Bhagavan Kovil is a famous temple near Dharapuram of Tirupur district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, India.The temple is famous for the deity Bhagavan Thirumalaiswamy who is a human turned God. This temple is very well known for the Ugadi festival which falls on Indian summer months of March or April and mostly on the Telugu new year day called Ugadi. This temple gets visitors in lakhs during the world famous festival. There is tourist attraction near this place, Nallathangal Dam is located 4 km from Bhagavan kovil.

Bhagavan Kovil in Tirupur of Tamilnadu

Bhagavan Kovil in Tirupur of Tamilnadu

Usage Of The Term For This Festival Varies By Region As:

The people of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana celebrates as Ugadi.

The people of Maharashtra celebrates as Gudi Padwa.

Maharashtra Gudi Padava

Maharashtra Gudi Padava

The people of Karnataka celebrates as Yugadi/Ugadi.

The people of Punjab celebrates as Vaisakhi (also spelled Baisakhi).

Punjab Bisakhi

Punjab Bisakhi

The people of Marwari of Rajasthan celebrates as Thapna.

The people of Sindh celebrates as Cheti Chand.

The people of Manipur celebrates as Sajibu Nongma Panba.

The Hindus of Bali and Indonesia celebrates as Nyepi.

The Kumaon region of Uttarakhand celebrates as Bhitauli .

The Tulu people in India celebrates as Bisu.

The people of Assam celebrates as Rongali Bihu.

Bihu Assam

Bihu Assam

The people of Orissa celebrates as Maha Vishuva Sankranti (or Pana Sankranti).

The people of Nepal and Bihar celebrates as Chhath in Mithila.

The people of Bengal and Tripura celebrates as Naba Barsha or Pohela Boishakh.

West Bengal Poila Baishaki

West Bengal Poila Baishaki

The people of Nepal and Bangladesh celebrates as official Nepalese New Year.

The people of Sri Lanka celebrates as Sinhalese New Year.

The people of Thailand celebrates as Songkran.

The people of Kerala celebrates as Vishu.

The people of Mauritius celebrates as Ougadi.

Sri Rama Navami: It is celebrated in March/April on the occasion of marriage of Goddess Sita to Lord Rama, 9 days after Ugadi.

Sri Rama Navami

Sri Rama Navami

Image Courtesy: Google

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