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Ugadi, the Hindu New Year, is on March 29th, 2017. When we talk about Ugadi, the first thought that comes to mind is this saying: ‘Little sweet (jaggery), little sour (mangoes) and a little bitter (neem) makes life better’. Read further to know about this beautiful Indian festival.

Yugadi or Ugadi festival is celebrated by the people of Hindu community. In 2017, Ugadi is on March 29th. After celebrating the festival of colors, Holi, Ugadi in 2017 will commence the New year and bring good luck for the people as New Year does. It is the New Year as per the Hindu Calendar. However, every person follows calendar as per his/her religion and a National calendar is also used as a standard calendar.

The term Ugadi or Yugadi is taken from the Sanskrit language where ‘Yuga’ stands for ‘age’ and the word ‘Adi’ means ‘beginning’. So, the entire word Ugadi means, ‘a new age beginning’. When Ugadi arrives, the fragrance of jasmine flowers can be felt everywhere. These flowers are then used for worshiping God during the Ugadi Puja. It is also said that Lord Brahma started creating universe on this day, hence it is called Ugadi.

It is celebrated as Ugadi in the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, as Navreh in Kashmir, as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, as Baisakhi in Punjab, as Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, as Vishu in Kerala, Bohag Bihu in Assam and as Cheti Chand by the Sindhi community. Although the New Year of the Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi and Kashmir community falls on the same day, the New Year day might differ for the other communities. However, the time of the New Year remains the same for one and all, and that is during the month of Chaitra of the Hindu Calendar (March). The first day of the month Chaitra signifies Hindu New Year day.

In 2017, Ugadi celebrations will be as enthusiastic as they have been every year, but before you celebrate Ugadi in 2017, let’s know some more facts about the festival of Ugadi or the New Year celebrations.

Ugadi Festival 2017: Rituals For The Day

In India, every festival has its own rituals and traditions to be followed. Similarly, Ugadi also has many rituals that are followed. It is believed that as per the rituals of Ugadi, the preparations for the festival begins two days prior to the original day of Ugadi celebrations. The excitement is somehow similar to the celebrations of the New Year celebrations, as it is the day of rejoice and beginning of new era.

As per the rituals of Ugadi, each and every corner of the house are cleaned. When the morning of the Ugadi day starts, everyone wakes up and takes an oil bath. After taking bath, people decorate their home by different means, such as making Rangolis, hanging mango leaves. Then the devotees visit the nearest temple and offer prayers and chant Mantras, so that the upcoming year brings good luck and blessings of the Almighty. After the Puja is done, then the Pandits (priests) recite the yearly horoscope or the forecast for the upcoming year. This tradition of reciting the yearly horoscope is called ‘Panchanga Sravanam’. Likewise for Ugadi 2017, you should follow the same rituals and get to know your horoscope.

Ugadi Festival 2017: Telangana, Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh

The states Telangana of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the South India celebrates New Year as Ugadi or Yugadi. Ugadi in 2017 is on March 29, Wednesday. Ugadi is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra month of the Hindu Calendar. As per beliefs, it is on this day that Lord Brahma created the seven worlds. As such, it is a new beginning for one and all. It is considered very auspicious to get the yearly predictions read out on this day. This event, which is called ‘Panchanga Sravanam’ is read out by the priests to the public. Along with this, homes are cleaned, Rangolis are made, new clothes are worn and sweets are exchanged with friends and family to welcome the Hindu New Year. It is believed that hanging the mango leaves on the entrance of the main door is also auspicious. A special sweet called Obbattu or Holige is prepared on this special day.

Ugadi Festival 2017: Maharashtra Celebrates Gudi Padwa

The day of Hindu New Year is celebrated as Gudi Padwa in the state of Maharashtra and Goa. A Gudi (bamboo stick) wrapped with a silk cloth is erected and a copper bowl is placed on the top of it. This is then decorated with flowers, neem leaves, mango leaves, turmeric and vermilion. Gudi Padwa day is not only celebrated as the New Year day, but also as the day which marks the victory of Lord Rama’s war against Ravana in Lanka. It is said that once Lord Rama won the war, his troops kept this flag in front of every house in Lanka to mark the victory. On this day, a special dish made out of mango is prepared. Other dishes prepared on this day are Puran Poli and Shrikhand, to name just a few. The day begins with a visit to Lord Ganesha temple, as it is considered very auspicious to start anything new with the blessings of Lord Ganesh. People wait for Gudi Padwa day to commence new ventures, as it is an assured success, if done on this day. Tamil Nadu & Kerala Celebrate Puthandu & Vishu.

While the New Year is celebrated as Vishu in Kerala, it is celebrated as Puthandu Dhinam or Varusha Pirappu in Tamil Nadu. The day begins with wearing new clothes, making Rangolis and performing Puja to the Gods. One of the rituals followed in the Malayalam community is the ‘Vishukkani’, which means the first thing you see on the day of Vishu. It is believed that, if the first sight is an auspicious one, the whole year will turn out to be a good one. Also, a collection of fruits and vegetables known as Vishu Kani is brought in for Puja.

Kashmir Celebrates Navreh

The New Year day is celebrated as Navreh in Kashmir. Navreh means New Year. And as per rituals, a plate filled with rice, curd, walnuts, pen, coins and jantri is placed in the middle of the house the previous night to New Year. The next day (on Navreh), Puja’s begin with the placing of this plate.

Ugadi Festival 2017 Celebrations

After completing the rituals of Ugadi 2017, you may now go ahead and celebrate the first day of New Year. It is said that at some temples, Kavi Sammelans (the poetic recitation events) are organized, wherein various poets show their skills of poetry. Hence, Ugadi is also known as the ‘festival of poets’. These functions are organized on a large scale at some of the places and the best poet is awarded, various cultural, musical, and folk dance programs are also organized.

Ugadi Festival 2017: Dish For The Day

As every festival has special dishes to be made for the day, obviously we can’t miss out the dishes to be made for completing the celebrations of Ugadi in 2017. There is a special dish that is to be made on the occasion of Ugadi, namely Ugadi Pachadi in Telugu language.

It is said that the dish is made by mixing six ingredients. Mixing different ingredients in one dish means that life is also a mixture of so many things altogether, and one has to accept every taste of life. The dish made on this day is the first one to be taken on this day as a food.

The ingredients that are mixed in this dish indicate the tastes of life. Following are the ingredients and their relation to the phases of life:

  1. Neem Buds: They indicate sadness of life, as they are bitter in taste.
  2. Salt: It indicates the salty moments of life.
  3. Jaggery: It indicates sweet and happy moments of life.
  4. Chilli or pepper: It indicates temperament and aggressive face of life.
  5. Unripened mango: It indicates tanginess in life.
  6. Tamarind extract: It indicates the sourness of life.

There are few other dishes that are prepared in different states of India like Obbattu in Karnataka, and Bobattu in Andhra Pradesh.

Hope this article comes of use in understanding this important festival of New Year known in many different names in different states and community.

With this, we wish one and all a very Happy Ugadi 2017

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