The land of Andhra Pradesh is rich in its cultural heritage and the Telugu people are well known for their enthusiasm in celebrating various festivals and they keep themselves every busy in these celebrations. The state of Andhra Pradesh is ever lively with various festivals some of which have social importance while other festivals are religiously important and yet other festivals are mostly promoted by the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh as a part of its tourism promotion activity. Festivals like Bhogi are celebrated with much fervor across the state which has great social significance.
About Ugaadi festival
Ugaadi or better known as the Telugu New Year's Day is the most important festival of Andhra Pradesh and it is a festival which has social importance. The day after Amavasya or No Moon day in the Shukla Paksha or the brighter fortnight of the moon in the month of Chaitra as per the Hindu calender marks the beginning of the New Year and hence the day has great social significance and is celebrated with much fervor and enthusiasm by the Telugu people. The festival has much of economic and social influence on people of Andhra Pradesh as they are busy with lot of purchases as part of New Year's Day celebrations as well as busy with family gatherings or social gatherings.
Importance of Ugaadi
Being the first day of the year as per the Telugu calender, Ugaadi has great social importance and it marks the new arrival. The day falls in spring season when there is the colorful flowers are in full bloom and many of the trees begin to flower. Hence, the day is considered for a new start or growth in life. As the day is considered as the beginning of the year, the Telugu people make necessary arrangements few days in advance for celebrating the festival. People involve themselves in extensive shopping few days before Ugaadi and even almost all the shops / malls are fully geared up to receive the customers and thus try to increase their sales. Generally the new married daughters of the house visit their mothers' place along with their husband and celebrate the festival in their mothers' place.
Social life on Ugaadi day
Almost all the families, set their homes for the arrival of the New Year and as a part of cleaning up process, they decorate their homes with toranaalu with either mango leaves or with a combination of mango leaves and marigold flowers and colorful muggulu which adds to the beauty of the house. People all around will be in complete festive mood and immerse themselves in various social activities. The people across the state enjoy a public holiday on this special day and they totally involve themselves in enjoyment. There are two most important parts of the festival and these are preparing and taking Ugaadi Pachchadi in the daytime which is generally followed by Panchaanga Sravanam.
Ugaadi Pachchadi is a special recipe made specially on this day only and is consumed as the first food of the year. In fact, Ugaadi Pachchadi is made of a combination of shad ruchulu or the six different tastes namely sweet, sour, bitter, salt, hot and a kind of tangy taste. And all these different tastes are obtained from the first crop of produce of the year and are combined in proper proportions to make it into Ugaadi Pachchadi. The new jaggery is added for sweet taste, while small pieces of new mango is added for a sour taste. The fresh flowers of the neem are added for the bitter taste and even little salt and red chilli powder are added. Apart from these basic ingredients people even pieces of banana, cashew nuts, raisins and many other dry fruits to make it tastier.
Apart from taking Ugaadi Pachchadi, people even involve in Panchaanga Sravanam which is the reading of the annual calender by a renowned scholar. The predictions for the whole year is read by the scholar. And this marks the end of the Ugaadi festival. Later the Telugu people involve themselves in various refreshing activities like watching movies or going to temples and the like. Various cultural and social activities are celebrated across the state and even many organizations honor eminent people with awards called Ugaadi Puraskaaralu.
Ugaadi - 2012
According to Telugu calender each year is given a specific name and in this way there are sixty years. So once in every sixty years, the same New Year is repeated. Accordingly, the name of year for 2012-2013 is Sri Nandana Naama Samvatsaram
Ugaadi festival is one of the most joyous festivals of the Telugu people. The festival has great importance and has much influence on the social and cultural life of the people of Andhra Pradesh.
Kalyani, your article on Ugaadi is fine. For coming Ugaadi, happy new Telugu year.