Ugadi is considered to be the auspicious day to start new ventures by the people in Karnataka. New Year’s Day is also celebrated in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Punjab and Assam in this time. It is known as Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and Gudi padawa in Maharashtra.
The Ugadi Festival date is 29 March 2017.
Ugadi is originated from Sanskrit word “Yugadi”, which means “beginning of a new period or Yuga”. The traditional festival falls usually in early April or second half of March. People across the state of Karnataka celebrate this event with great fervor and enthusiasm.
On this festival, it is a popular legend that Lord Brahma started creating the whole universe on this auspicious day of Chaitra Suddha Padhyami or Ugadi. He is the creator of weeks, days, years and months to count time and other elements exist in the universe.
The festival of Ugadi marks the beginning of Hindu lunar calendar and change in lunar orbit. The event also marks the beginning of spring. It is believed that nature awakes from deep slumber to cover the world in the blanket of green by giving birth to new plants. As spring season brings new life on earth, the New Year accompanies the feelin of growth, joy and prosperity. The Vasanta Navratri lasts 9 days and starts on this day and ends on Ramnavami. On this day, predictions are made for New Year and mantras are chanted. Panchanga Shravanam is the most vital aspect of the festival, which is done by the priests at the temples.
Before reading annual forecasts in the Panchanga, an officiating priest reminds the creator Brahma’s participants. The priests read other Tidhis (prosperity and wealth) during the year and conclude with the forecast of various aspects of social life. According to the scriptures, the benefits enjoyed by the reader and listener are the same of having a dip in Ganges, the holy river. The listeners, then, respectfully appreciate the reader, seek his blessings and offer new clothes to him.
Cuisines Prepared During Ugadi
The main item in this event is Bevu Bella which is prepared in Ugadi. Basically it is a paste made of neem buds, jaggery, raw mango and tamarind juice. These ingredients are ground together and a fine paste is made. This item denotes all walks of life. The sour, sweet and bitter tastes remind the basic fact to us that life is the blend of both sad and happy moments and we have to accept everything in our life. During this festival, all members taste this paste to be mindful that everything is temporary in life.
Several other dishes are prepared to commemorate the festival. Some of the famous dishes prepared in this occasion are Holige (Obbattu) and Puliogure. Dishes like bobbatlu, pulihora and dishes made of raw mango are prepared in Andhra Pradesh. Same dishes are made in Karnataka, but are known as Holige and Puliogure.
The preparations start a week before the date of festival. Houses are washed and cleaned properly and people buy new clothes to rejoice the spirit of this festival.