Celebration of Ugadi in south India

Ugadi or the beginning of New Year is celebrated in the Deccan region of India. Almost the whole of south India, including the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu celebrates Ugadi. The other states of India also celebrate the same festival on the very same day but with a different name. For instance in Maharashtra, Ugadi is celebrated as Gudi Padwa and in Rajasthan it is celebrated as Thapna. Regardless of the name of the festival, the essence remains the same, welcoming a brand new year at the start of the Vasant ritu or the spring time and hence the date changes each year.

decoration for Ugadi

decoration for Ugadi

The name symbolizes the meaning of this festival. Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit word Yugadi which can be divided into two words Yug and Aadi. Yug means age while aadi means beginning and hence Yugadi essentially means the beginning of a new age. In south India, different states celebrate this beginning of a new year by eating special dishes and later reciting or listening to the recitation of Almanac. The special Ugadi dish usually consists of six different taste symbolizing six emotions of human beings. This dish is called Bevu Bella in Kannada, which is a more liquefied form and it is called Ugadi Pachhadi in Telegu.

Ugadi special six taste dish

Ugadi special six taste dish

The six tastes consist of pepper or green chili for the hot taste that symbolizes anger, neem leaves for the bitter taste that symbolizes sadness, tamarind for the sour taste symbolizing disgust, jaggery for the sweet taste that symbolizes happiness, unripe mango for the tangy taste that symbolizes surprise and salt for the salty taste that symbolizes fear. After the dish is prepared and eaten, people sit around and listen to the recitation of Almanac or the holy Panchamgam, read aloud by an elderly, in a social gathering. People greet each other with Ugadi Subhakankshalu in Telegu and by saying Yugadi Habbada Shubhashayagalu in Kannada.

This would be a great time for you to visit south India to understand this very well celebrated festival of Ugadi. It would tell you a lot about the rich cultures of south India and you would also be able to taste the amazing cuisine and be a part of a different kind of celebration. There are no countdowns but the quiet celebration with family and friends to spread happiness would make you understand the rich cultural heritage of India.

About Dhiraj
Dhiraj is currently working at a Social Media Consultancy and has keen interest in Digital Marketing.

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