Heralding the season of spring

Heralding the season of spring

The festival of Ugadi marks the first day of Shalivahana almanac, which begins with the month of Chaitra. People living in Deccan Plateau, especially in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra, who follow the lunar calendar, celebrate this festival with much devotion.

Every year, Chandramana Ugadi falls on Chaitra Shudhdha Paadyami and heralds the onset of spring. The festival begins with family members taking an oil bath early morning. After that, people pray to God for a prosperous future and general well-being. Sharing Bevu-Bella, a mixture of neem and jaggery is a vital part of the festival. The combination of sweet and bitter signifies the different experiences of life and gives a message to treat both happiness and sadness equally. With people attending Panchangashravana, a listening of the new calendar in the afternoon, the festival concludes. 

 However, the wide usage of  Gregorian calendar, has left no scope for Shalivahana calendar in our day-to-day life. Moreover, Indians calculate new year in three different ways which confuses the young generation.

Aniket, a business executive is one such confused person. “I know only two ways of calculating the year — financial year and calendar year. As I use Gregorian calendar, my new year begins on January. I consider Ugadi as just a spring festival as it marks a new season,” he says.

Anjana describes the inviolable relationship between nature and the festival. “During Ugadi, barren trees throb with life and grow shoots and leaves. Animals start mating and colourful flowers bloom.” She goes on, “We celebrate English New Year on a grand note. But on Ugadi, we remain dutiful and attentive. We don’t even burst crackers. Bevu-Bella reminds us to remain calm during both happiness and sorrow. Thus, Ugadi spreads the noble message of peace and oneness of nature.”

Guru Hublikar is of the same opinion. “During Ugadi, we get fresh crops. People start working on their fields once again. The earth gets a new look. This is the perfect time to celebrate a new beginning as nature also responds to the change.”
For Amar, Ugadi brings back the sweet memories of his native place where he used to celebrate the occasion with his family. “In most countries, spring is considered as the first season of the year. That’s why, the financial calendar begins with spring. I enjoy English New Year with my friends but during Ugadi, I like to be with family. I take part in all the religious rituals and visit temples. My mother prepares Holige and Ugadi Pachchadi’ After lunch, my father reads out the new panchanga (calendar) for us.”

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