The term Ugadi refers to the New Year Celebrations falling year on year in March – April as Hindu calendar. While many other states of India have their own local versions, names and dates of the New Year around this time, Ugadi is exclusively the name of the New Year celebrated in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Ugadi is a joyful celebration as it marks the arrival of a brand New Year.
The Religious Background
Hindu mythology believes that during the evolution of the cosmos, Brahma, the creator commenced the act of creating on the day of Ugadi. Therefore, Ugadi is celebrated in commemorating the beginning of creation when the earth and the life forms on it started emerging. Also, a new astronomical and astrological cycle commences on this day. Therefore, Ugadi is a prayerful day for people to get divine blessings for the successful journey through the New Year ahead.
The Seasonal Background
As we all know that Hindu Year is also divided into four seasons with the Spring season as the first one among them. Ugadi marks the start of spring seasons when nature starts wearing a fresh look laden with new leaves, flowers and fruits. Most plants come to life around this season and therefore there is a green ambience all around setting a wonderful phase for a renewed look and invigorating spirit. Ugadi thus sets the phase for a new beginning in life and everything around.
Preparation for Ugadi
Since Ugadi marks bidding farewell to the past and welcoming the promising future, symbolically a lot of things happen in the households around Ugadi. The households dispose the old and worn out things. Houses are cleaned, repaired and painted a new. People do shopping for new clothes and new furniture. In fact, around Ugadi time, there are some special discount sale Fairs organized in several places. People also purchase puja materials for organizing the Ugadi celebrations and religious events at homes.
Traditional Ugadi celebrations
On the day of Ugadi, the houses are decorated in several ways. The most important aspect is displaying mango leaf hangings in front of doorways and puja altar. Mango leaves are considered a mark of auspiciousness and growth. Some ritualistic pujas happen at homes accompanied by the preparation of foods in all six tastes (hot, sweet, two types of sour, bitter and salty).
A special kind of juice is prepared by mixing neem flowers, mango scraps and jaggery water. This preparation is of immense health value that is consumed in empty stomach after the pujas.
The Ugadi Spirit
Above all, what is important is the renewed spirit that Ugadi promotes among the people. People consider Ugadi as an auspicious day to make new beginnings and engage in innovative ventures. Thus, Ugadi stands for everything new in the lives of people.