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Ugadi Celebrations in Karnataka

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Ugadi Celebrations in Karnataka

About Ugadi

Image Credits: Himaja @ thecurious_appetite

The auspicious festival of Ugadi is celebrated with utmost joy and enthusiasm in Karnataka and other South Indian states. Ugadi is observed on the first day of Chaitra according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar. The name ‘Ugadi’ was originated from two Sanskrit words, ‘Yuga’ and ‘Adi’, translating to a new beginning. It is believed that Ugadi was the first day of the creation of the Universe. As per the Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma created the Universe on this day and then days, weeks, months, and years.

How is Ugadi celebrated?

The vibrant festival of Ugadi is celebrated to welcome abundance, prosperity, and happiness in the New Year. The festival also holds a special place for the region as it marks the beginning of nature’s annual cycle and the onset of the spring season. The farmer families prepare for the new season, hoping for plentiful produce. Ugadi is also considered a sacred time to undertake new ventures.
The preparations of the day-long festivities generally begin a few days in advance. People from different spheres of society start their day with an oil bath and wearing new traditional clothes. They clean their house, which is followed by prayers and offerings. The entire family worships the Panchanga and prays for a bountiful year. The Indra Dhwaja is also worshipped on this holy day.

Devotees from all across the state celebrate the day by participating in cultural and religious gatherings and preparing a grand feast for family and friends. Bevu Bella, a special delicacy, captures the true essence of this pious day. It is made by combining various ingredients like tamarind, neem leaves, jaggery, raw mango, pepper, and salt. The dish signifies various human emotions, suggesting that the coming year will be filled with sweet-bitter life experiences.

Decorating the front door with red earth and a beautiful string of mango and neem leaves is another significant part of this sacred occasion. People also draw colourful patterns with rice of flowers, known as Kolamulus or Rangoli in front of their houses. Known for its religious significance and lively cultural offerings, the festival of Ugadi brings colours of joy, hope, and prosperity to people’s lives.

Delicacies of Ugadi Festival

Like any other festival in India, Ugadi is also celebrated with good food. Special delicacies are prepared to celebrate the occasion, including Pachhadi, a type of chutney that is prepared by mixing six different ingredients and flavours. It is a preparation of tender neem flowers, red chilli powder, tamarind pulp, raw mango, jaggery and salt. Other delicacies include Holige or Obattu and Puliogure.
Festivals and desserts are synonymous with each other. During Ugadi, several desserts are prepared across various regions. Wherever you choose to go during the festival, make sure you savour delicious desserts like payasam, Obbattu ( a jaggery-based dessert), and Boorelu ( made from Bengal gram, jaggery, and coconut). Mysore Paak, Semiya Payasam, and Aval Payasam.

Ugadi signifies or teaches us to leave the past and embrace the new beginning of life with positivity. Ugádi an exuberant festival represents peace, happiness, and prosperity.
With traditional rituals, vibrant decorations, and authentic savouries, Ugadi is one of the most significant festivals of Karnataka. Explore the lively culture of Karnataka in its full glory during the Ugádi celebrations.

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