Friday, October 13, 2017
Ugadi is a celebration of the Hindu New Year for people of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It is celebrated in many communities and referred by many names – Gudi Padwa (Maharashtra), Thapna (Rajasthan), Cheti Chand (Sindhi) and Sajibu Nongma Panba (Manipur).
Ugadi is celebrated with much excitement in Bangalore, and you can plan a holiday during this time to experience one of the most beautiful festivals. Just make sure you plan ahead as hotels in Bangalore get booked in advance.
Story behind Ugadi
Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yugadi’, which means beginning of a new age. The Hindu calendar is based on lunar cycles and Ugadi is the day of ‘Chaitra Shuddha Padyami’, or the first day of the first month of Chaitra. According to the Gregorian calendar, the festival is generally celebrated in the month of March/April.
Rituals during Ugadi
Cleaning of the home – At the beginning of most Hindu festivals, the entire house is cleaned to allow renewed and positive energy to enter.
Decoration of the home – Homes celebrating Ugadi will have the traditional rangoli or powder design in front of the home. The entrance will also be decorated with fresh mango tree leaves and neem leaves to signify spring.
Panchanga Reading – One of the main rituals of Ugadi is the reading of the ‘Panchanga’, which is a Hindu almanac. Generally read by a priest, the panchanga can also be read by the elders in the families. The Panchanga gives auspicious dates for the upcoming year; people often use these dates for planning important occasions like weddings and starting new activities.
Eating of Bevu Vella – The Bevu Bella is a simple dish which is made of jiggery, neem buds, tamarind juice and raw mango. The unique taste of this dish is a mixture of all sorts of flavours signifying life and its vagaries itself.
Celebrations of Ugadi
Ugadi is essentially the coming together of the entire household on this auspicious occasion and wishing good luck and health to everyone. While there are many pujas during the festival, an important aspect of the festival is the food. Special items like puliogare (Tamarind Rice) and Holige (Sweet dal stuffed flatbread) are made to celebrate this festival.
The entire household comes alive during Ugadi in the anticipation and hope for a wonderful year ahead!