Ugadi - Telugu New Year

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Ugadi-The Telugu New Year
Ugadi-The Telugu New Year

Yugadi (Kannada: ಯುಗಾದಿ, Telugu: ఉగాది) from yuga + aadi, yuga means era, aadi means start. The start of an era) is the New Year's Day for the people of the Deccan region of India. While the people of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh use the term Yugadi/Ugadhi for this festival, the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa. Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as their New Year day Cheti Chand.

It falls on a different day every year because the Indian calendar is a lunisolar calendar. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March/April) and Yugadi marks the first day of the new year.


Contents

[edit] The Lunar Almanac of the Deccan

Hinduism has one of the best calendar with the nature. The word Yugadi can be explained as; 'Yuga' is the word for 'epoch' or 'era', and 'aadi' stands for 'the beginning'. 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 Dakshina Bhartha lunar calendar, pervasively adhered to in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

This calendar reckons dates based on the Shalivahana era (Shalivahana Shaka), which begins its count from the supposed date of the founding of the Empire by the legendary hero Shalivahana. 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), 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 2010, ugadi falls on March 16.

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 anew with the first year.

Yugadi (start of new year) is based on Bhāskara II 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 [1] However, people celebrate Yugadi on the next morning as Indian day starts from sun rise. Many Indians in America also celebrate Yugadi.

[edit] Observance in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka

Ugadi Pachhadi
Ugadi Pachhadi

The Kannada and Telugu people celebrate the festival with great fanfare; gatherings of the extended family and a sumptuous feast are 'de rigueur'. The day, however, begins with ritual showers (oil bath) followed by prayers, and then the eating of a specific mixture of -

  • Neem Buds/Flowers for bitterness
  • Raw Mango for tang
  • Tamarind Juice for sourness
  • Green Chilli/Pepper for heat
  • Jaggery and ripe banana pieces for sweetness
  • Pinch of Salt for saltiness

This mixture with all six tastes (షడ్రుచులు), called Yugadi Pachhadi (ఉగాది పచ్చడి) in Telugu and Bevu-Bella( ಬೇವು-ಬೆಲ್ಲ) 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. Holigey/Bhakshalu-prepared on Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

In Karnataka a special dish called Obbattu/Holigey, is prepared. In Andhra Pradesh, a special dish called Bhakshalu or Bobbatlu (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.

Later, people traditionally gather to listen to the recitation of the religious almanac (Panchangam) of the coming year, and to the general forecast of the year to come. This is the Panchanga Sravanam, an informal social function where an elderly and respected person refers to the new almanac pertaining to the coming year 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 recitation.

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

[edit] Observance in Maharashtra

The festival is called "Gudi Padwa" in Maharashtra; it heralds the advent of new year and is one of the most auspicious days for Maharashtrians.

It is customary to erect ‘Gudis’ on the first day (Padwa) of the Marathi New Year. 'Gudi' is a bamboo staff with a colored silk cloth and a garlanded goblet atop it, which symbolizes victory or achievement. Hence, this day is known as “Gudipadwa” in Maharashtra. The New Year is ushered in with the worship of the "Gudi" and the distribution of a specific "Prasad" comprising tender neem leaves, gram-pulse and jaggery. The symbolism of tastes is the same as what is described above.

Also in many Maharashtrian homes they celebrate the occasion by making Shrikhand Puri.

[edit] Trivia

  • Vasanta Navaratri (literally - The 9-night Spring festival) starts on this day and culminates nine days later on Sri Raamanavami which falls on Chaitra Sudhdha Navami.
  • The years would have names in Sanskrit. The name of the one that starts on 27 March 2009 is Sri Virodhi.The one that ended is Sarvadhari.

[edit] See Also

[edit] External Links





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