Ugadi (also called as Yugadi), which literally translates as the beginning of a new age is the first day of the New Year for the people speaking Telugu, Kannada and Marathi. This is notably the first day of the first month of the year called Chaitra.
Preparations for the festival of Ugadi start a week before the event. The houses are renovated, repaired, cleaned, painted and decorated. People buy new clothes and jewels for the day. Dhoti is a very popular attire for males and Saris are the highly preferred costume for the women celebrating this festival. This day sports a variety of dishes in each household that are prepared and distributed enthusiastically to showcase the culinary skills of the women in the household. Pujas, family get-togethers and visiting temples, places, family elders, relatives and friends are common activities noticed on this day.
How to celebrate Ugadi
On the day of Ugadi, houses are cleaned and decorated and hangings made of mango leaves are tied on the doorways.
Designs and patterns drawn in front of the houses called as Rangolis are a common feature of Ugadi celebrations.
A special dish known as ‘pachadi’ is prepared in most households with the main ingredients including tender neem leaves, jaggery and tender mango. This herbal preparation with amazing medicinal properties can give a healthy and lucky start to every individual.
The puja altar is decorated and all the pictures and idols are cleaned, given a holy bath and decorated followed by a fervent puja.
People thoroughly enjoy this day with feasts, new clothes and gifts and receive the blessings of the elders in the family for a happy and prosperous life.