Ugadi

Ugadi or Yugadi is celebrated as the first day of the year by people of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Updated: June 16, 2022

Ugadi or Yugadi is celebrated as the first day of the year by people of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Ugadi is celebrated as Gudi Padwa by the people of Maharashtra. Both Ugadi and Gudi Padwa are celebrated on the same day.

According to Luni-Solar calendar, Ugadi is New Year. Luni-Solar calendars consider the position of the Moon and the position of the Sun to divide the year into months and days. Solar calendar is the counter-part of Luni-Solar calendar which considers only position of the Sun to divide the year into months and days. Due to this Hindu New Year is celebrated twice in the year with different names and at two different times of the year. The Hindu New Year based on Solar calendar is known as Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam, Vaisakhi in Punjab, Pana Sankranti in Orissa and Naba Barsha in West Bengal.

Ugadi or Yugadi is celebrated as the New Year by the people of Andhra Pradesh,Telangana and Karnataka states in India. On the first day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Chaitra it is festively observed in these regions. This typically falls in March or April of the Gregorian calendar. The day is observed by drawing colorful patterns on floor called kolamulus which is known as Muggulu in Telugu and Rangoli in Kannada, mango leaf decorations on doors called toranalu or Torana in Kannada, buying and giving gifts such as new clothes, giving charity to the poor, special bath followed by oil treatment, preparing and sharing a special food called pachadi, and visiting Hindu temples. The pachadi is a notable festive food that combines all flavors that include sweet, sour, salty, bitter. This festive Hindu food is made from tamarind paste, neem flowers, brown sugar or sweet jaggery, salt, and sometimes mango. It is a symbolic reminder that one must expect all flavors of experiences in the coming new year in Telugu and Kannada Hindu traditions. It reminds the people that the following year will consist of not just sweet experiences, but a combination of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter episodes.
The same day is observed as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, but sometimes observed a Gregorian day earlier because the lunar day starts and ends in Hindu calendar according to the position of the moon. In Karnataka, the festival is celebrated as Yugadi. The name Yugadi or Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga means age and adi means beginning. So combinely it means the beginning of a new age.

The Telugu, Kannada, Kodava and the Tulu diaspora in Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala celebrate the festival with great fanfare that include gatherings of the extended family and a sumptuous feast. Special dishes are prepared for the occasion. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, eatables such as pulihora, bobbatlu, New Year Burelu and Pachadi and preparations made with raw mango go well with the occasion. In Karnataka, jaggery called as bella prepared from the fresh harvest of sugarcane is mixed with the flower buds of the neem tree (bevu) and eaten after the pooja, but before lunch. This is called bevu-bella and is indicative of the fact that life will always be a mixture of sweetness and bitterness. Obbattu or Bhakshalu/Holigey is prepared on Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Maharashtra states. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana a special dish called Bobbattu (Polelu/Puran Poli/Oliga) are prepared on this occasion. This special dish is called Bhakshalu, Boorelu which is eaten with fresh ghee in Andhra Pradesh Telangana State. These are eaten along with the Ugadi Pachchadi. In Karnataka a special dish called obbattu, or Holige is prepared. It consists of a filling of gram and jaggery/sugar boiled and made into a paste stuffed in a flat roti like bread. It is usually eaten hot or cold with ghee or milk topping or coconut milk at some places of Karnataka. The celebration of Ugadi is marked by religious zeal and social merriment.

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