Today is Ugadi, the New Year in Andhra and Karnatak. Ugadi literally means ‘beginning of an era.’ In Maharashtra and Goa it is called Gudi Padwa. Among the Sindhis it is Cheti Chand. In different parts of India like Manipur, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh this day is known by different names. A little later there will be New Year in Tamilnadu, too, and it is called Puthandu. In short, this is an auspicious day, and a day of celebration.
In Andhra Ugadi is celebrated with great pomp and show. Besides, its religious significance, several cultural activities such as poetry recitation, literary discussions and classical dance performances take place on this day. Homes are decorated and in front of each house ‘rangoli’, designs with rice powder and flowers, are made. The scholars read out the future predictions among people.
Very good dishes are prepared: pulihara (lemon rice), kheer, burre, bobbatlu. The Ugadi special is Ugadi Pachhedi, a prepation consisting of ingradients with different tastes, neem buds (bitterness), Jaggery and ripe banana (Sweetness or happiness), green chilli (anger), salt (fear), tamarind juice (disgust) and raw mango (surprise). These are all new produces and represent different emotions or spices of life. Ugadi pachhedi is offered at the time of worship in the morning and shared by family members and visiting friends.
On this auspicious New Year Day let us greet each other and hope for peace and happiness to prevail in the life of each of us. Happy Ugadi to all the readers, writers and patrons.