UGADI- The Telugu New Year
A Unique festival
UGADI is the new year day for the people of Andhra Pradesh( INDIA) and telugu people around the world. It appear in the month of march or april. This is a Hindu festival. Telugu people follow the same calendar as the world does in their day- to- day life, but they celebrate festivals according to telugu calendar. People living here see days both based on Solar system (Sauramana means according to Sun) and on Lunar system (Chandramana means according Moon).
According to Chandramana, Ugadi celebrated on the first day (Paadyami) of bright fortnight(Suklapaksham) of the first month (Chaitra masam) in the first season of the year Spring (Vasantha Ritu ).
The word Ugadi means YUGAADI, yuga- era and aadi- begining. There is a belief that Lord Brahma created the world on this day "Chaitra Suddha Paadyami" or "UGADI''. Mathematician Bhaskaracharya also consider this day as the beginning of New Year. The onset of spring also marks a new beginning of life, plants shoot new leaves,fragrant flowers and fruits.
It is also celebrated in Karnataka and Maharastra.
Celebrations of the day
Celebrations start one week in advance cleaning the houses and applying fresh coat of paint.Shopping new clothes.Inviting relatives and friends,especially newly married couples.
On the Ugadi day, people wake up before dawn and have an oil massage and take head bath. Women splash cow dung water in front of the houses and draw colorful floral designs (Rangoli or Rangavalli). They decorate the door entrances with fresh mango leaves ,bunches and flowers(Thoranam).
They wear new clothes and do pooja to the deities in the puja room of their home and in temples. They use mango leaves and coconuts (as in a Kalasam, to start any pooja) only on auspicious occasions to propitiate gods.People worship to God invoking his blessings before they start with new year. They pray for their health, wealth and prosperity. Many people start new ventures on this auspicious day. The new Hindu calendar (Panchangam) read for the first time on the day of ugadi.
Some people take part in social community gatherings and enjoy a tranquil evening with devotional songs (bhajans).
On this day they prepare Ugadi Pacchadi ,a dish which has raw mango pieces(tanginess), neem flowers(bitterness), new tamarind pulp(sourness), ripe banana and jaggery made from new sugar cane crop(sweetness), chilli powder(spice or heat) and a pinch of salt(saltines). This dish has 6 different types of tastes (shadruchulu) which means life is a mixture of various experiences happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, fear and disgust. Eating it signifies that to treat every experience alike, accept the fact and live the moment. Believe whatever happens is for one’s own good and live happily.
Eatables such as "Pulihora", "Bobbatlu" and preparations made with raw mango dominates the items of the occasion.
Kavi Sammelanam or poetry recitation is a typical Telugu Ugadi feature. Many poets come up with new poems written on subjects ranging from Ugadi to politics to modern trends and lifestyles.It is also a launch pad for new and budding poets.'Kavis' or poets of many hues political, comic, satirical reformist, literary and melancholic appear on the Ugadi stage.
People traditionally gather to listen recitation of the religious Panchangam of the new year, and the general forecast of the year to come, the 'Panchanga Sravanam', an informal social function where an elderly and respected person refers to the new almanac and makes a general benediction to all present.
Recitals of classical Carnatic music and dance are held in the evenings.
The prime message behind this celebration is that human beings should rise above the levels of sorrow, happiness, success and failure.
According to telugu calendar there are 60 years and the cycle repeats.The present year is "Vikruthi" and it is going to end in 2 days.So, we are entering into a new year on 4th April 2011 and named as "Shri Khara".
" WISH YOU A HAPPY UGADI"
"శ్రీ ఖర నామ స౦వత్సర ఉగాది శుభాకాంక్షలు "