Rituals of Ugadi
Ugadi is a festival celebrated all across the Deccan regions of India with much fun and fervour. The word Ugadi has originated from the Sanskrit words - ‘yug’ means era and ‘aadi’ means beginning. So it marks the beginning of the new era.
When is Ugadi Celebrated?
It is the first day of the Hindu month Chaitra, the first month of Panchanga calendar. It is celebrated as the New Year by the people of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Even this day, which falls in the months of March-April, is the New Year for the people of Maharashtra and is popularly known as GudiPadwa.People of different states follow different rituals and customs on this day. Ugadi rituals in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are almost similar with little differences.
Common Rituals Associated With Ugadi
The auspicious occasion of Ugadi is associated with Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe. All the elements of nature along with days, months are believed to be created by Lord Brahma. As it falls on the onset of the spring, it marks the commencement of healthy and prosperous New Year. Many rituals are associated with the festival of Ugadi.
The various customs of Ugadi festival are:
Ugadi Rituals of Different States
- People begin the auspicious day by taking bath at the break of the dawn and then wear new clothes.
- The mango leaves are used to decorate the entrance of the houses to please Lord Kartikeya and also Lord Ganesh. It is believed that the two Lords are fond of mangoes. TheseUgadi festival ritualsare followed so that the Gods bless them with prosperity and wellbeing. The fresh mango leaves to the doorway symbolises a good yield.
- As Ugadi rituals, people purify their houses and the surrounding environment with fresh cow dung which is considered pious according to Hindu customs.
- Making Rangolis outside the houses is one of the very important and significantUgadi festival activities.
- One of the Ugadi rituals is PanchangaSravanam. According to this Ugadi festival ritual, a pundit is called toprepare the yearly forecast of each member of the house. This ritual to predict the future on the day of Ugadi is one among the many popular Ugadi festival activities.
- KaviSammelanam is one of the majorUgadi festival activitieswhere people engage themselves in literary discussions and recite poems.
- Delicious vegetarian meals are prepared as a part of customs of Ugadi festival.
- Preparing Ugadipachadi, a special dish is a compulsory Ugadi ritual. This special dish is prepared with ingredients like jaggery(sweet), salt (salty), tamarind (sour) , neem flowers (bitter), raw mango (tangy) and last but not the least chilli powder (spicy).
Although the above mentioned rituals are mostly common, there are some more Ugadi rituals which are specific to the states.
- Andhra Pradesh: Before taking bath in the morning, the people of Andhra Pradesh applySesameoil on their body and head. Then they visit temples to seek blessings of God.
- Karnataka:As a part of Ugadi ritual in Karnataka people make garland of Jasmine and offer them to God. They place coconut on the Kalash beside the doors, for the peace of their homes.