Today is Ugadi-The Telugu New Year. Wishing everyone a Happy Ugadi…..“Vyaya Nama Savathsramu Subhakankshalu” ……
Ugadi marks the beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar with a change in the moon’s orbit. It is a day when mantras are chanted and predictions made for the new year. Traditionally, the panchangasravanam or listening to the yearly calendar was done at the temples or at the Town square.
As children, we would eagerly await this day as we would be wearing new clothes and have sweets to eat et al..The day would start with having some “Ugaadi Pachchadi”
The Telugu and Kannada people celebrate the festival with great fanfare; gatherings of the extended family and a sumptuous feast are de rigueur. The day, however, begins with ritual showers followed by prayers, and then the eating of a specific mixture of –
- Neem leaves for Bitterness
- Jaggery for Sweetness
- Raw Mango for Vagaru
- Tamarind Juice for sour
- Chillis for Hot
- Salt for salty taste
This mixture, called “Ugadi Pachhadi” in Telugu and “Bevu-Bella” in Kannada, symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of pleasure and pain, which should be accepted together and with equanimity. Certain communities in Andhra Pradesh prepare a more elaborate sauce, called Ugadi Pachchadi, which is a paste of tamarind, jaggery, mango, salt, pepper, neem leaves etc. The symbolism and significance of the preparation is the same.