Ugadi or Yugadi is one of the most important Hindu festivals which have derived its name from two Sanskrit words: Yug and Adi, meaning Age and New Beginning respectively, which on putting together means “The Beginning of New Age”. The day on which it is celebrated is the start of the New Year as per the Hindu lunisolar calendar. It is believed that it was on this day that Lord Brahma gave shape to the entire universe, including earth and the life which sustains within. That’s why Ugadi is the official New Year for people of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. However, its celebrations are not just limited to these two states but extend to other states as well: Maharashtra, Punjab, Bengal, Assam, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and the Sindh province of Pakistan, though it goes by different names. Ugadi falls on different dates each year, but always in either the month of March or April.
The Telugu people buy new clothes and decorate their houses to mark the festival. The people hang the leaves of mangoes at the entrance of their houses for a prosperous year, and worship Gods and Goddesses to seek their divine blessings. The Telugu people of Andhra Pradesh prepare several lip smacking delicious foods to satisfy their appetite. Some of the delicacies prepared on the auspicious occasion are the “Ugadi Pachchadi”, “Pulihora” and “Bobbatlu” which are cooked with special care to suit the occasion. The festival of Ugadi also offers the poets and writers of the Telugu literature with a platform to express their talents in the numerous “Literary Fairs” that are organized throughout the state.
The people of Andhra Pradesh extend a warm welcome to the “Telugu New Year” or “Ugadi” where they forget their past failures or achievements and look forward for a better and prosperous year ahead.