Every year, we hear about a series of Hindu festivities when the months of April and May surface. Ugadi—widely celebrated in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana—falls on 22nd of March this year. The celebration almost never goes unnoticed as temples are lit with prayers and masses offering flowers and food (annadhanam) on this auspicious day.

Here, we have compiled five reasons why the Telugu community celebrates Ugadi and its significance. Check out!

1. Yug (new) + Adi (beginning)

The word ’Ugadi’ means a new beginning, signifying the start of a new year which falls on the first month of the Hindu calendar, Chitra. Instead of partying the night out for their New Year, the communities in these regions choose to offer special prayers and receive blessings from the elders in the family. Like any New Year celebrations, Ugadi is celebrated with high spirits and renewed hope for the coming year.

2. Spiritual Cleansing

The preparations for the celebration begins days before. As part of the ritual to cleanse the house from any negativity, Telugus begin by cleaning their house and eliminating old things from the previous year. On the day itself, a morning head bath before sunrise and new clothes are a must. It’s a fresh new start for the new year.

3. New Year Predictions

‘Panchanga Sravanam’ is the annual religious almanac read at temples by an elder or a priest. The predictions for the year are based on the moon sign. It is one of the most anticipated occasion of the day as everyone learn about the predictions and plan their year accordingly.

4. Social Gathering and Feast

No celebration is complete with a mouth-watering feast! Ugadi is a day for families to bond and have a great time while enjoying a delicious feast of traditional cuisine. Ugadi Pachadi—made using raw mango, tamarind, jaggery, neem, chilli, and salt—is one of the compulsory dishes as it symbolises the six emotions of life: sadness, happiness, anger, surprise, bitterness and fear. This reminds everyone of the reality of life which has its ups and downs.

5. Safeguarding Culture and Language

Celebrating Ugadi is a great way to remind the Telugu youngsters to be proud of their identity and learn about the culture and rituals followed by their ancestors for generations. Such social gatherings among families allow the Telugus to preserve their language by encouraging the younger generation to converse more often in their mother tongue.

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Source: Perks4 India & India.com
Photo Credit: Deccanchronicle​