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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Happy Ugadi

"Wish you all a very happy Chandramana Ugadi"



Missing my childhood days, missing Ugadi festival, missing those days of shopping. Those days of walking along with my father (holding his hands) and going to the market for shopping. Those days of going out in the colony with group of friend to all friends and realtives homes, wishing each other, eating Bevu-Bella. oh!!! they are real golden days, and everlasting sweet memories. I wish my family & friends a very very happy ugadi.

What is Ugadi?

Ugadi marks the beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar with a change in the moon's orbit. It is a day when mantras are chanted and predictions made for the new year.
The New year festival or Ugadi comes close on the heels of Holi. While the strong colors of Holi start fading away, the freshness of spring lingers on with sprightliness all around.

It is believed that the creator of the Hindu pantheon Lord Brahma started creation on this day - Chaitra suddha padhyami or the Ugadi day. Also the great Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya's calculations proclaimed the Ugadi day from the sunrise on as the beginning of the new year, new month and new day. The onset of spring also marks a beginning of new life with plants (barren until now) acquiring new life, shoots and leaves. Spring is considered the first season of the year hence also heralding a new year and a new beginning. The vibrancy of life and verdent fields, meadows full of colorful blossoms signifies growth, prosperity and well-being.

It is a season for raw mangoes spreading its aroma in the air and the fully blossomed neem tree that makes the air healthy. Also, jaggery made with fresh crop of sugarcane adds a renewed flavor to the typical dishes associated with Ugadi.

"Bevu-Bella" is one such dish that has become synonymous with Ugadi. Bevu-Bella is of a specific mixture of Neem leaves/flowers for Bitterness, Jaggery for Sweetness, Raw Mango for Vagaru, Tamarind Juice for sour, green chille for Hot, salt for salty taste. "Bevu-Bella" in Kannada, symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of pleasure and pain, which should be accepted together and with equanimity, which truly reflect life - a combination of sweet, sour and bitter tastes.


It is noteworthy that we use mango leaves and coconuts (as in a Kalasam, to initiate any pooja) only on auspicious occasions to propitiate gods. People also splash fresh cow dung water on the ground in front of their house and draw colorful floral designs. This is a common sight in every household. People perform the ritualistic worship to God invoking his blessings before they start off with the new year. They pray for their health, wealth and prosperity and success in business too. Ugadi is also the most auspicious time to start new ventures. The agriculturists generally start their pre-sowing operations in the field on this day.
The celebration of Ugadi is marked by religious zeal and social merriment. Special dishes like "puliogure" and "holige" are prepared for the occasion.

Ugadi is thus a festival of many shades. It ushers in the New Year, brings a rich bounce of flora and fills the hearts of people with joy and contentment.

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