Ugadi Festival 2015, Festival Of Spring In South India
Ugadi is the New Year festival celebrated to mark the start of the Hindu lunar calendar. In the south it is a major festival as it is considered to be the day the deity Brahma began creation according to Hinduism. Ugadi is celebrated in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, in Maharashtra the festival is called “Gudipadwa”.
The coming of Ugadi spreads the natural fragrance of jasmines which is offered in the form of large garlands to the Gods in homes and temples. It is the festival of spring and signifies well-being, growth and prosperity. People chant prayers and the priests or pundits make predictions for the year ahead.
People prepare for the festival by washing and cleaning their houses. New clothes are bought for everyone in the family. Every house is decorated with colourful designs called rangolis and mango leaves are also a common decoration in most houses. The mango leaves signifies a prosperous year ahead. The Ugadi festival is also important because it is considered to be an auspicious time for new ventures.
The festivities continue with ritualistic worship to pray for good health and prosperity in the coming year. Kavi Sammelans or poetry recitals are another tradition of this day. Poets from different literary backgrounds including political, satirical, comic, reformist, melancholic and literary are all welcome during the poetry fest.
The festival cuisine includes a range of dishes such as Pulihora and Bobbatlu. The staple Ugadi dish is Pachchadi and is prepared with neem flowers, raw tamarind, jiggery and raw mangoes. In Maharashtra the dishes include puran poli or sweet rotis.
The festival of Ugadi is celebrated with religious fervour and it is a time for new beginnings. The auspicious day assures in a new year of joy and prosperity.
Ugadi 2015 Date: 21 March