When: March – April
Where: The Deccan Region of India
India’s National Calendar is the official calendar for Hindus. However, given the sheer size of India and its population, it is inevitable that some regional variants of the same occasions, like Ugadi 2012, would still prevail. Even among believers of Brahma, certain important occasions are celebrated on different dates.
In Hinduism, Brahma started creation on Chairtra Suddha Padhyami or the Ugadi, Sanskrit for the “beginning of a new age.” In certain parts of India, the spreading sweet fragrance of jasmine heralds the start of a New Year. Roughly translated, this is equivalent to the western hemisphere’s first day of spring.
Southern Indian states Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala celebrate the beginning of spring in either March or April, depending on when the Chaitra (first month of the year) falls on the lunisolar Saka calendar. In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the New Year is called Ugadi, while in Maharashtra, New Year is called Gudi Padwa. Hindus elsewhere, particularly in Bali and the rest of Indonesia, celebrate the day as Nyepi.
About the Event:
Ugadi or the beginning of a new age in this part of the Indian sub-continent is celebrated as New Year. Not only does this day herald the blossoming of green things, this also signals the change of moon’s orbit in the lunar calendar.Yugadi is a formed by combining two words ‘Yuga’ means ‘epoch’ or ‘era’, and ‘aadi’ meaning ‘the beginning.
A week prior to the event, households prepare by thoroughly cleaning their house, shopping for new clothes and requirements for the festivities. On the day of Ugadi itself – April 11 on 2013 – the devout performs a ritual bath (of oils), wears the new clothes, and says his or her prayers. The faithful then ties green mango leaves on the doorway to invite good crop and general well-being for the coming year. It is also a tradition to splash fresh cow dung water and draw colorful floral designs in front of the house, and hang jasmine garlands in temples and in houses.
The extended families then gather to share sumptuous meals that start with a symbolic dish to signify the mixture of experiences – bitter, sweet and sad – that the devout will have to go through life and accept with grace.
New Year in this part of Indian subcontinent is an occasion for the family to get together and celebrate not only as a unit but also as a cohesive community. While families are busy in this very important religious and festive occasion, businesses are open to accommodate travelers who may wander around in this part of India during this season. Streets will certainly be crowded as families gather in parks or in accommodating outdoor spaces to listen to New Year predictions given by Brahmin. Nonetheless, the whole occasion is celebratory, and visitors are welcome to join the occasion.
Traveling to the Deccan region of India during this time is an opportunity to witness yet another variety in the interpretation of New Year the Hindu way.A very warm wishes to everyone celebrating Ugadi this year.!may god shower you all with loads of happiness and blessings.!