Celebrating a fresh start

Celebrating a fresh start

Celebrating a fresh start

The festival of Ugadi signifies a new beginning with renewed hopes and fresh thoughts. The holige lunch, bevu-bella, new clothes, string of mango leaves adorning the door frame and the coming together of family mark the celebrations.

   Being one of the biggest festivals in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, it is no surprise that the preparations for Ugadi begin almost a week in advance. Metrolife takes a look around the City to capture the festive fervour.

The day begins with the ritual shower (oil bath) and prayers, followed by the eating of a specific mixture of neem leaves and jaggery, symbolising bitterness and sweetness.  This mixture, popularly called bevu-bella in Kannada, symbolises the fact that life is a mixture of different experiences including sadness and happiness, which should be accepted together.

   After this, different families celebrate the festival in their own way.
Naina, a student of Mount Carmel College, says that the highlight of the day is the reading of the panchanga. “This is a book that has the future for the next one year of each of the sun signs detailed. We generally buy it and do a puja in front of it. Then, the elders in the family read it out to all of us,” she adds.

 With the flower and vegetable prices rising, many in the City headed to the markets early in the week to buy everything they required for the day. Divya Reddy, a housewife, says that her preparations start almost a week in advance.

“The house has to be spick and span for the day. So, I start cleaning a week before Ugadi and even buy the flowers, kumkum, turmeric powder, mango, neem leaves and vegetables that are required for the lunch well in advance,” she adds. Her top priority on the day is the puja. “The prayer room has to be cleaned and decorated to my liking. The evening before, we have a bhajan session. On Ugadi day, a big puja is observed — all my sons, daughters and their families participate. We end up spending the entire day together,” says Divya.

Buying new clothes and dressing up is another big part of the day. “Ugadi and new clothes go hand-in-hand. I love dressing and meeting my loved ones, with whom I share both my happiness and sadness on the day,” says Lakshmi, a professional.

For actress Meghna, the festival is more about spending time with her family.
   “It’s a new year for us and I generally spend the day with my family. I also get to dig in to special goodies on that day,” she expresses.

Though the festival is predominantly a family affair, Vijaylakshmi, another professional, invites her friends over for a grand lunch.

“This is one festival that most communities celebrate in their own way. So, this way, we can share our traditions with others and spread communal harmony,” she says.

Over the years, though, the festival has become rather commercial. People have created their own methods and ways of celebrating Ugadi. Suman, a student, says that at his place, the festival is not celebrated on a very grand scale. “Everyone is so busy in the house that we celebrate Ugadi in a basic manner. It has become more of a holiday than a ‘festival’ as such. Earlier, we used to make holige at home but now I just buy it off the rack,” he adds.

With many special programmes and the IPL match being played in the City, it looks like this Ugadi will surely be a treat for everyone.

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