About Ugadi Festival
The word Ugadi is derived from two different words; ‘Yuga’ that means ‘age’ in Sanskrit and ‘Adi’ that means ‘beginning in both Sanskrit and Kannada. This festival celebrates the New Year in Karnatake. This day is also known as Chandramana Ugadi. Ugadi is one of the major festivals of the Hindus, which is celebrated with great pomp and fan fare. It is also celebrated by the people of Maharashtra with equal enjoyment. The term Ugadi is used by the people of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka but in Maharashtra it is known by Gudi Padwa. This one day celebration unites all the people of the state so that they can enjoy to the fullest.
When it is celebrated
Ugadi falls on the first day of Chaitra, which is the first month in the traditional Hindu calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually falls in the month of March or April. It is the time of the year when New Year’s Day is also celebrated in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, and Punjab.
The legend behind this festival is that Lord Brahma created the universe on Ugadi. The nine day long spring festival of Vasanta Navratri begins on this day and concludes on Ram Navami. It is believed that the creator of the Hindu pantheon Lord Brahma started creation on this day – ‘Chaitra Suddha Padhyami’ or the Ugadi day. The famed Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya’s astronomical calculations in the 12th century determined the date of Ugadi from the sunrise on as the beginning of the New Year, new month and new day.
Ugadi marks the regeneration of Mother Nature. The spring festival of Vasanta Navratri also commences on this day and continues for nine days before concluding on Ram Navami. It is a fresh beginning is the essence of human life. Just as the trees and plants unfurl new leaves during spring, Ugadi marks the unfurling of new hopes and expectations in human lives. The occasion is all about leaving behind the past and starting anew with fresh expectations and a positive frame of mind. Ugadi not only signifies the start of a new year, it also signifies the beginning of a new phase in a person’s life.
Preparations for Ugadi begin a week in advance and include customs common to many spring festivals such as house cleaning and buying new clothes. On the day of Ugadi, a tradition is to get up before dawn for an Abhyang – a head bath an after massaging with sesame oil.
Temples, homes, and shops are decorated with flowers and mango leaves, specially the entrances. Making colourful floral patterns or rangolis in front of the houses is a common practice on the day.
Family members dress up in new clothes and gather to worship and pray together on this day. A customary food prepared during Ugadi is Bevu Bella, a paste made from jaggery, neem buds, tamarind juice and raw mango. The paste combines several sweet and sour tastes. These different tastes are intended to remind anyone tasting the paste that life is a mixture of happy and sad events.
Ugadi also coincides with the onset of spring and the harvest season. This day is also considered highly auspicious to start new ventures. However, all business transactions are carried out after certain religious observances that are said to bring good luck, wealth and prosperity to believers.
You can also get details of the other festivals and fairs….Click on the link below