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UGADI: Year of Victory beckons

UGADI: Year of Victory beckons
Highlights

The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra and Ugadi is celebrated on the first day of this month.. ...

The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra and Ugadi is celebrated on the first day of this month.. ugadiDenizens of the twin cities are gearing up to celebrate Ugadi, a major festival that marks the start of the New Year for Telugus and is most significant after Sankranthi. All major markets are teeming with raw and ripe mangoes, margosa (neem flowers), jaggery and jasmine flowers, which people buy as part of essential ingredients for 'Ugadi Pachadi'. The Telugu almanac 'Panchangam' for the 'Vijaya nama samvatsaram' has promising tidings. Ugadi means the beginning of an era. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra and Ugadi is celebrated on the first day of this month. It is believed that Lord Brahma created the universe on this day. It marks the beginning of the new Hindu lunar calendar, with a change in the moon`s orbit. Lord Brahma is believed to have created the days, nights, weeks, months, seasons and years to count time. Despite hectic schedules, people say they are going to use the day to not just celebrate Ugadi but also catch up with their loved ones. "In our busy day-to- day life, such festivals are but an opportunity to reconnect with relatives," said Satvika P, an engineer.
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"We celebrate Ugadi in a traditional way. I always look forward to this festival, in particular the 'Ugadi pachadi' which gives us a taste of how life is � bitter-sweet, and also tells us to be balanced despite what happens. I and my family will also sit before TV and listen to the panchanga sravanam-- who doesn't want to know what the future looks like?" asks Rama Raju, software professional. "For me, Ugadi starts with a look at panchangam. I do follow the aadayam-vyayam ratings, they are fun. Also, I believe that the very first taste I would get after eating Ugadi pachadi will tell me how my year is going to be," says Anupama, a private employee. "In my younger days, I used to read panchangam for my children and my wife used to make Ugadi pachadi. We used to go for Kavi Sammelanam that used to happen in city. Even though such events are taking place today, there is a dip in the quality of poetry recited," says 80-year-old Krishna Rao.
Life and pachadi
Ugadi pachadi is a special preparation relished in every Andhra home on the Telugu New Year's day. It's made with fresh tamarind, jaggery (panela), fresh mangoes and neem flowers (margosa). The medley of tastes in this delicacy tickles and lingers for a long time. The flavours of Ugadi pachadi signify that the mixture of bitter margosa flowers and sweet jaggery reflect the myriad facets of life, particularly joy and sorrow, and prepares one to face both good and bad in the year to come. We find people eating neem leaves and flowers at the onset of Vasantha Ruthu and through the spring season, as it's a counter measure for kapha dosha individuals. Ugadi pachadi is a healthy low-calorie pachadi containing neem flowers, new tamarind, jaggery and fresh raw mangoes, which contain nutrients that cleanse the system and act as prophylactics (prevention of illness or disease). The mixture of shadruchulu or six different tastes signifies various experiences in life like, sadness, joy, fear anger, disgust and surprise. It tells us to accept the life with equanimity.
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