Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Vijaya Nama Samvatsaram /Ugadi 2013

Ugadi is an Indian New Year Festival which is celebrated on the day of Chaitra Masa(March/April) Shukla Paksha Padyami(Thithi) as per the Hindu Lunar Calendar. This festival is mainly celebrated in the southern part of India, Maharastra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Manipur. This year 2013, the festival will be celebrated on April 11, 2013(Thursday). 

Ugadi Festival is the Telugu New Year's Festival. Each Telugu Year has a specific name as per Telugu 60 year calender. Telugu New year Name for the year 2013 is "Vijaya Nama Samvatsara" 

Importance and Significance of Ugadi Festival: 
The name Ugadi derived from "Yuga + Aadi" which means "Beginning of a New Age". According to Hinduism, it is beleved that Lord Brahma(Creator of the World) started his work of creation on Chaitra Suddha Padyami(the day of Ugadi).

According to Sage Valmiki Ramayanam, Lord Sri Rama had killed the demon Ravana on the day previous to Ugadi falling on new moon day(Amavasya) of  Phalguna Masa. To commemorate the victory, the festival is celebrated on the next day indicating the beginning of New Era.

On the Ugadi festival , people wake up before dawn, take holy bath, wear new clothes, decorate in front of their houses with colourful Rangoli, decorate doors and windows with strings of Mango Leaves, preparing unique Ugadi Special dish popularly called as "Ugadi Pachadi".

Significance of Ugadi Pachadi:
The Ugadi Pachadi is a Special mixture of Six tastes i.e., Bitter(Neem), Sweet(Jaggery), Sour(Tamarind), Salty(Salt), Spicy(Green Chilli/Red Chilli Powder) and Tang(raw Mango). It signifies that the life is a combination of different experiences(Sadness, Happiness, Disgust, Fear, Anger and Surprise) which has to be accepted together with equanimity.

After eating the Ugadi pickle it is a custom to read the Panchang of the year and know what is in store for each according to the Rashi.

New clothes are worn on this day and children seek blessing from elders so that their year is good.

Traditions and Customs of Ugadi Festival:
In Andhrapradesh and Karnataka, People listen Panchanga Sravanam, Poetry recitations, honouring and recognition of authors of literary, conducting of cultural programs and Kavi Sammelana and more.

In Maharastra, the festival is celebrated as GUDI PADWA. Gudi means "Dwajam" and Padwa means "the first day of the new year". People of Maharastra erect a bamboo stick topped with upturned silver/copper pot decorated with flowers, coloured silk cloth and coconuts in front of their houses. It is worshipped as Brahma Dwajam/Indra Dwajam indicating invitation to all the deities to the house on this day and also symbolizes welcome the New Year with great Victory and Happiness.

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