Ugadi (Gudi Padwa) 2022 in India: Saturday, 2 April 2022Get your brand new acrylic rangoli from eCraftIndia and set it out in the front of your house, because Ugadi is almost here!
While in the simplest of terms, this is a new year for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, it is more a celebration of life and the beginning of a new year, that brings hope and joy.
What Is Ugadi? When Is Ugadi?Ugadi or yugadi or Samvatsarādi is the first day of the New Year for mainly the people of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana and it falls on the first day of the lunisolar calendar month of Chaitra, as per the Hindu calendar. As per the English calendar, this day generally falls in the middle of April and is also the same day as the very first new moon that comes after the March Equinox.
The word Ugadi, that is actually derived from the word Yugadi is made of two words – yug, which means age, and adi which means beginning; so the meaning of Ugadi is the beginning or start of a new age or in modern terms, a new year. As per certain Hindu scriptures, this is the day when Lord Brahma created the universe. It is also believed that one of the names of Lord Vishnu is Yugaadikrit, which means the one who created the yugas, which is why, on this day, he is also worshipped.
As per science, this is the day that marks the start of a new astronomical cycle, as per the lunisolar calendar, which means from this day, for 21 days, the earth receives the maximum sunlight. With this intense energy being received from the sun, the earth is able to reenergise itself.
What are the stories associated with Ugadi?There are several stories that are associated with the Ugadi festival, but the main ones include these:
- This is the day when Brahma began creating the universe: As per legends and ancient Hindu scriptures, when Brahma was born, there was no other living being around him. In order to understand his origin and purpose, he began looking around in all direction and when he failed in his cause, he realised that he might have look for answers inwards. He sat mediating for millions of years and finally, he understood that he was meant to be the architect of the universe. Today, on Ugadi, people are prompted to reflect on their own selves and understand the need to slow down.
- This is the day when Lord Rama was crowned the king of Ayodhya: According to the Indian epic, Ramayana, Lord Vishnu appeared on earth in the form of prince Rama of Ayodhya. As the eldest son of his father, he was meant to inherit the throne, but on the whims of his jealous step-mother, he and his wife were exiled to 14 years in the forest. The citizens of the kingdom loved Rama and his wife Sita dearly and waited for 14 years for him to return. After enduring several pains and tribulations, including Sita being abducted by the Lankan king, Ravana, they were able to return home after completing their full length of their exile. It is said that it is on Ugadi that he was crowned the king and leading to people revel in Ugadi celebration. It is also said that this day marks the victory of good over evil and the reign of goodness.
- This is the day when Krishna left the planet: Time is supposed to be cyclic in nature – as per Hindu texts, time is divided into four yugas. The spiritual inclination of the world is slowly heading towards a decline and by the end of Kaliyuga (the yuga which we are in now), only selfish desires will remain. It is believed that it was on Ugadi that Krishna, in his that particular form or avatar, chose to end his time on earth. His departure was meant to invoke a sense of reflection among people and make them understand the need to return to spirituality.
How To Celebrate Ugadi Festival?The preparations for Ugadi festival celebration often start a few days before the actual festival day. New clothes and items for home are purchased. The entire household is cleaned out thoroughly and space is made for all the new décor pieces. If you too are looking for home decoration items online, then eCraftIndia is a good place for you to shop.
Rangolis, traditionally known as muggulu, are drawn at the entrance of the house and mango leaf decorations called torans are hung up on the front door. The people of the house will wake up early in the morning and take an oil bath, post which they will wear new clothes and perhaps visit the temple. They also indulge in some charity – they can give alms or food to the underprivileged.
Generally, the eldest member of the family or a learned priest will read out from the almanac, also known as the Ugadi Panchangam; the person reading the almanac takes on the role of an Oracle, who metes out predictions for the coming year. These predictions are generally based on moon signs and most often, sacred chants and hymns accompany the reading.
This festival is also important for farmers because it’s a new season and they pray and hope for a bountiful produce and good farming season. People also choose to start their new ventures on this day as it is considered extremely auspicious and quite often a decorative pooja thali will be used for the pooja.
How important is food to Ugadi celebrations?As is with any other festival, Ugadi also has a strong connection with food – several special delicacies are prepared and in large families, everyone gets together to make the feast.
The most important part of the Ugadi thali is a type of chutney known as pachadi – this is made with red chilli powder, tamarind pulp, jiggery, raw mango, salt and most importantly tender neem flowers. Puliogure or tamarind rice is also made and is relished by people of all ages.
Given that it is an occasion for celebration, sweets are inseparable and the most common sweets made for Ugadi include Mysore Paak, Semiya Payasam, Aval Payasam and more traditional sweets like Obbattu, which is made using jiggery and Boorelu, which is made with coconut, jiggery and Bengal gram.
What Does Ugadi Pachadi Signify?Irrespective of what else is made, the Ugadi pachadi is absolutely important, because it signifies something deeper – the prasadam is meant to make people understand the different combination of ‘flavours’ that life encompasses. There is sweetness from jiggery, the bitterness from the neem flowers, the sour from the tamarind, and the pungency from raw mangoes – and just as in the pachadi, so in life, there is always a combination of all situations.
If you and your family are getting ready for Ugadi as well as and are looking for Ugadi festival gifts or want something for your own home, there are plenty of options to choose from at eCraftIndia. From stunning and traditional looking door hanging toran to figurines of gods and goddesses, there is much to pick from. Made by artisans and craftspeople, who have practised the art for centuries, these handicraft items are sure to increase the charm and festive mood of your home!