The Telugu community in the country is eager to usher the 'Subhakruthu Naama' Ugadi in a grander scale after having muted celebrations the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the Telugu Association of Malaysia secretary-general Siva Soorianarayanan welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement that the nation will be moving into endemic phase from April 1, 2022.

"Thus, all 30 branches of the association nationwide will be having their celebratios beginning April 2 until the end of this month.

"The headquarters of the Telugu Association of Malaysia will also be celebrating and ushering in the new year on Sat, April 9, at the Sri Venkatachalapathi and Alamelu Temple in Batu Caves commencing at 5.30 pm with spiritual hymns, special prayers, cultural performances, and not forgetting the Ugadi food feast," he said.

According to him further, the guest of honour at the do will be MIC president SA Vigneswaran.

The Telugu community, which is about 500,000-strong, forms the second largest Indian sub-ethnic group in the country.

Ugadi is celebrated on the first moon of the Chaitra month of the lunar calendar. It is believed to be the day when Brahma, The Creator God in the Hindu Trinity, formed the universe.

Besides marking the new year for the Telugu community, Ugadi also marks the beginning of the "vasanthakalam", where plants sprout new shoots, neem flowers appear and farmers prepare their land for the next crops.

According to Siva, celebrants prepare for the new year at least a week prior, by cleaning and decorating their homes, and buying new clothes.

On the day of the festival, celebrants wake up at dawn for oil bath and Ugadi prayers are conducted afterwards.

Besides submitting to the Divine, Ugadi is also marked by the celebrants indulging in the cultural aspect of the day, via reading literary works, reciting poems, chanting mantras, Vedas, and bhajans, as well as listening to classic Telugu songs.

Like in all other festivals, prayers and feasts are an important aspect of celebrations and first on the menu is the Ugadi Pachadi. It is a mixture of ingredients that represent six tastes – neem (bitter), raw mango (tangy), tamarind juice (sour), green chilli/pepper (heat), jaggery (sweet) as well as a pinch of salt.

These six tastes are known as "Satruchi", and symbolises life as a blend of different experiences – sorrow, joy, anger, fear, disgust and surprise – all of which should be accepted.

Astro Ulagam would like to wish all Telugus in the country, and around the world: "Sri Subhakruthu Naama Ugadi Subhakankshalu"!

Photos source: The Quint