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Ugadi is the new year celebration for the people of the Deccan region. The term Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Yugadi' where 'Yug' means age and 'Adi' means beginning. Ugadi marks the beginning of new year for the people of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and the Konkan areas.
According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma started the process of creation on this day. Hence Ugadi is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over South India. The Ugadi day marks the advent of the spring season which signifies the beginning of new life as the trees start bearing flowers and fruits.
According to the tradition, preparations for Ugadi begin a day or two prior to the actual festival. The ritualistic washing and cleaning of the house has to be completed before the festival starts. Apart from the cleaning there are a few other rituals, customs and traditions of Ugadi. Take a look.
A special dish known as the Ugadi pachadi is prepared on this festival. It comprises of six tastes- sweet, salty, bitter, sour, tangy and spicy. It is prepared with the ingredients jaggery (sweet) which indicates happiness, salt (salty) which indicates interest in life, neem flowers (bitter) which indicate difficulties in life, tamarind (sour) which indicates challenging moments, unripe mango pieces (tangy) which indicates new challenges and surprises and finally chilli powder (spicy) which indicates anger causing moments of life. The meaning this pachadi conveys is that these six phases of life has to be balanced by humans to live happily.
People take bath very early in the morning. Then they decorate the entrance of their house with mango leaves. It is said that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati's two sons Lord Kartikeya and Lord Ganesha are very fond of mangoes. So, people tie mango leaves so that the Gods bless them with good crop and well-being of the family.
People splash fresh cow dung in front of their houses to purify the environment. Then beautiful Rangolis are made outside every house.
It is a popular custom of predicting what future has in store for all the members of a family. A pundit is summoned and he prepares the yearly forecast for each family member on the Ugadi day.
Literary gatherings are also conducted on Ugadi where people recite poems and engage in literary discussions. Also a lot of delicious vegetarian meals are prepared for the family as well as the guests.
Pic Courtesy: Twitter