Festival of cheer becomes dear

Festival of cheer becomes dear

In recent years, Ugadi, the new year, does not bring good cheer as the prices of vegetables, fruits, flowers and clothes, the bare essentials to celebrate the festival, continue to rise steeply.

“Flowers become expensive during the festival. Even the prices of mango leaves and neem leaves have shot up,” said Archana, a homemaker from Basavanagudi.

While the prices of all the vegetables and fruits have shot up by at least Rs 5 per kg, coconuts and lemons have increased by Rs 2 and Rs 1 each, respectively.

Vegetable prices, which had increased marginally over the last fortnight, have also gone up, leaving people with a sense of resignation. “Festivals bring cheer and happiness, but these upward prices have brought a sense of wariness,” Preethi, a primary schoolteacher from Srinagar, commented.

However, crowds throng the popular markets in Gandhi Bazar, Malleswaram, Madiwala among other places.

Fruitful year

New Year in the Deccan region is celebrated as Ugadi, marking the first day of the lunar calendar, Chaitra masa, the first month of the year. In many rural areas, the Panchanga, the calendar itself is worshipped for a fruitful year ahead.

According to Prasanna Ganapathi, a scholar and student of Shatavadani Ganesh, Ugadi is a festival to celebrate newness in the environment as it is the spring season which offers new leaves.

Nature-centric

“All Hindu festivals are associated with  Nature and people celebrate according to what Nature offers to them in their terrain. The spring season offers mangoes so it becomes a significance to eat them during the festival.  Bevu-bella (neem and jaggery) is mainly distributed to make a statement to accept joy and sorrow equally.

Neem and jaggery, eaten together also increase the immunity in a person,” he added.
In terms of celebration, people normally wear new clothes, visit the temple and prepare dishes like mango rice, obbattu or holige on the occasion.

The day is also celebrated as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Sidhis celebrate Cheti Chand, Manipuris observe Sajibu Cheiraoba and people from Punjab celebrate Baisakhi on the same day.

People, who follow the solar calendar, normally welcome new year on April 14, which is celebrated mainly  in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

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