Happy Ugadi - Significance and Celebrations
The festival of Ugadi or Yugadi is primarily celebrated by the people of Kannada and Telugu communities as the Lunar New Year Day. the literal meaning of the word ‘Yug’ means an era and the word ‘Aari’ symbolizes beginning. Thus, the Ugadi festival marks the start of a new era.
As per the Gregorian calendar, the festival takes place either in the month of April or March. There are a number of religious observances which takes place on the day of Ugadi. As per the Hindu calendar, the very first day of the Hindu Chaitra month is celebrated as Ugadi festival.
The festival of Ugadi is popular across the country and is celebrated in different names and cultures such as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Baisakhi in Punjab, Cheti Chand among Sindhis, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, and Thapna in Rajasthan.
What is the Legend of Ugadi?
As per the Hindu scriptures and mythology, it is believed that Lord Brahma began to create the Universe on this particular day which is popularly known as the Ugadi day. After that, Lord Brahma created years, weeks, days and months to forecast the time. Hence, the day of Ugadi is regarded as the primary day when the process of creation of the Universe started.
What are the Rituals and Celebrations of Ugadi?
- It is the yearly festive time when people celebrate the new year in various parts of the country
- More than a week before the festival date, individuals start their preparations.
- Individuals clean and paint/whitewash their homes and adorn them with natural flowers and beautiful rangolis.
- For purifying the houses and the atmosphere, people sprinkle cow dung water.
- To attract good fortune, abundance, and prosperity, people tie strings of mango leaves on the doors.
- The individuals first take a holy bath before sunrise and then offer prayers to the deity and perform various rituals for a successful and prosperous year ahead.
- On the Ugadi festival, individuals purchase ornaments and new clothes.
- Special dishes with raw mango are prepared such as ‘Bobbatlu’ and ‘Pulihora’ as well as particular traditional dishes like ‘Ugadi Pachchadi / Bevu Bella’ is also made with raw mango, green pepper, tamarind, jaggery, neem flowers, and salt. It symbolizes the multiple flavors and phases of human life.
- In various parts of the country, events, plays, poetry recitals, and various other cultural events take place.
- Individuals gather in groups for undertaking the practice of ‘Panchanga Shravanam’ where people come together to listen to the forecasts related to the new year called Panchanga.
- It is believed that people who listen Panchanga are bestowed with the divine blessings of the deity. They are also required to offer new clothes to the person/priest who reads the Panchanga as a token of gratitude.
What is the Significance of Ugadi day?
As Lord Brahma began creating the universe on this particular day, it holds much significance and importance for performing several acts. The Ugadi day is regarded as highly auspicious for starting new ventures, commencing construction of new buildings or homes, signing important deals and purchasing assets and jewelry.