Monday, April 8, 2013

Ugadi Festival History in India


                         Ugadi is the new year festival celebrated in Andhrapradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra the states of India. Ugadi is the first day of new year. As per weather this day has special. Because the spring season starts from this day. In this season trees bloome with new leaves and fresh flowers. Mango trees are full of raw Mangoes and nightagles chants. All the world becomes new and fresh with greenery. The day of Chitra Shudda Padyami celebrated as new year by the Telugu people. Telugu people follows Lunar and Solar calendar combindly. As per this calendar the first month is Chitra Masam. In this month the first day is Padyami the crescent day. Telugu people believes that this on auspicious time to venture into new projects and decisions

What is Ugadi?

The word Yugadi can be explained as; "Yuga" is the word for "epoch" or "era", and "aadi" stands for "the beginning".[citation needed] Yugadi specifically refers to the start of the age we are living in now, Kali Yuga. Kali Yuga started the moment when Lord Krishna left the world. Maharshi Vedavyasa describes this event with the words "Yesmin Krishno divamvyataha, Tasmat eeva pratipannam Kaliyugam". Kali Yuga began on Feb 17/18 midnight 3102 BC.

The festival marks the new year day for people between Vindhyas and Kaveri river who follow the South Indian lunar calendar, pervasively adhered to in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa.

This calendar reckons dates based on the Shalivahana era[citation needed] (Shalivahana Shaka), which begins its count from the supposed date of the founding of the Empire by the legendary hero Shalivahana[citation needed]. The Satavahana king Shalivahana (also identified as Gautamiputra Satakarni) is credited with the initiation of this era known as Shalivahana. The Salivahana era begins its count of years from the year corresponding to 78 AD of the Gregorian calendar. Thus, the year 2000 AD corresponds to the year 1922 of the Salivahana Era.

In the terminology used by this lunar calendar (also each year is identified as per Indian Calendar)[citation needed], Yugadi falls on "Chaitra Shudhdha Paadyami" or the first day of the bright half of the Indian month of Chaitra.This generally falls in the months of March or April of the Gregorian calendar. In 2011, Ugadi falls on April 4.

Lunar calendars have a sixty year cycle and starts the new year on Yugadi i.e., on "Chaitra Sudhdha Paadyami". After the completion of sixty years, the calendar starts a new with the first year.

Yugadi (start of new year) is based on Bhaskara II[citation needed] lunar calculations in 12th century. It starts on the first new moon after Sun crosses equator from south to north on Spring Equinox. For example, the time for the new moon for Bijapur where Bhaskaracharya was born can be determined from the website  However, people celebrate Yugadi on the next morning as Indian day starts from sun rise. Many Indians in America also celebrate Yugadi.

Observance of the festival:

The Kannada, Marathi, Telugu and the Konkani diaspora in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala celebrate the festival with great fanfare; gatherings of the extended family and a sumptuous feast are "de rigueur". The day, begins with ritual showers (oil bath) followed by prayers.

Symbolic Eating of a Dish with Six Tastes:

The eating of a specific mixture of six tastes , called Ugadi Pachhadi in Telugu and Bevu-Bella in Kannada,symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of different experiences (sadness, happiness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise) , which should be accepted together and with equanimity through the New Year.

The special mixture consists of:

    1.Neem Buds/Flowers for its bitterness, signifying Sadness
    2.Jaggery and ripe banana pieces for sweetness, signifying Happiness
    3.Green Chilli/Pepper for its hot taste, signifying Anger
    4.Salt for saltiness, signifying Fear
    5.Tamarind Juice for its sourness, signifying Disgust
    6.Unripened Mango for its tang, signifying Surprise

Special dishes:

In Karnataka a special dish called Obbattu or Holige, is prepared. In Andhra Pradesh, a special dish called Bhakshyalu or Bobbatlu (Polelu) (Puran Poli) are prepared on this occasion. It consists of a filling (Bengal gram and jaggery/sugar boiled and made in to a paste) stuffed in a flat roti like bread. It is usually eaten hot/cold with ghee or milk topping or coconut milk at some places of Karnataka.
Another dish which is prepared on occasion of Ugadi is "Pachadi". It includes 6 tastes which are Theepi,Karam,Pulupu,Vagaru,Chedu and Uppu(in telugu language). It is  prepared with the ingrediants are Neem flowers, Jaggary, chilli powder, Raw Mangoes, Salt and Tamarin ..

Recitation of Almanac ( Panchangam):

People traditionally gather to listen to the recitation of the religious Panchangam (almanac) of the new year, and the general forecast of the year to come. This is called the "Panchanga Sravanam", an informal social function where an elderly and respected person refers to the new almanac and makes a general benediction to all present. The advent of television has changed this routine, especially in the cities. Nowadays, people turn on the TV to watch broadcasts of the "Panchanga Sravanam" recitation.

Cultural and Literary events:

Ugadi celebrations are marked by literary discussions, poetry recitations and recognition of authors of literary works through awards and cultural programs. Recitals of classical Carnatic music and dance are held in the evenings.

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