If this is not your location, or want to another location, please select Country, State and type City.
Yugadi, Vasant Navaratri, Gudi Padwa, Chetichaand, Hindu New Year
'Ugadi stands for Yuga (Age) +Aadi (Begining) = Yugadi marks the beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar. It is said that Lord Brahma started the creation on this day. Ugadi falls on the "Chaitra Shuddha Padyami" of every year. In maharastra it is knows as "Gudi Padwa". Sindhis call it "Cheti Chaand". Hindu Vasantha Navaratri also starts from this day. It is vrey auspicious day knows as a part of sade tin muhurtha. It is celebrated with a lot of pomp, especially in South Indian states. "Ugadi pacchadi" (ugadi chutney ) is a noteworthy item during this festival. It is made of tamarind, raw mangoes, jaggery and neem flowers. The meaning of this is that all joys and sorrows have to be treated alike throughout the year.
This auspicious day is also known for Panchanga Sravanam which is chanted mainly by the purohits and the scholars. Panchangam is the Hindu almanac(calendar). It contains enormous mathematical work on the movement of celestial bodies. The ancient vedic sages and scholars have explained the astronomical phenomena and have formulated many principles. The literal meaning of panchangam stands for the five limbs(Pancha angas). They are: Tithi, Vaara, Nakshatra, Yoga and Karana. The panchangam is an integral part of the Indian astrology and is referred to by the astrologers and the common people.
Traditionally, on the day of ugadi, people used to visit the temple and listen to the panchangam which is chanted by a Siddhanthi(scholar). It was a social function where the scholar used to make general predictions to the gathering regarding the future aspects. It is said that panchanga sravanam does good to the people. The forecast for the happenings in the country, different places and in the lives of people based on their raasis would be predicted. It would be an yearly forecast(usually from April to March).
Panchangam is deeply connected to astrology(Jyotisha) and the sravanam is heard by many during ugadi. Every year has a name associated with it. The predictions are done for the whole year. Politicians, businessmen pay a lot of interest in the panchanga sravanam so as to know their future in their particular field.
Here goes a sloka stating the importance of listening to the panchangam:
Sri Kalyanagunavaham repuharam dusswapna doshapaham
Gangaasnaana vishesha punya paladham godhaana tulyam nrunaam |
Ayur vriddhimam utthamam shubakaram santaana sampathkaram
Naanakarana susadhanam samuchitham panchangam aakarniyathaam ||
Meaning: Panchangam contains all the auspicious things. It is a weapon that destroys the evil, dispels the bad dreams and qualities in a person and gives the purity of bathing in the Ganges. A person gets the punya of donating a cow, the quality of life increases , attains good nature, good off-springs are born by following it. The panchangam indicates the good qualities and hence everyone must hear it.
Thus, listening to the Panchangam and following it cultivates good habits in the people. The commoners must use this vedic science to improve their living standards. Additional information can be found here.
Shaantaakaaram Bhujanga Shayanam Padmanaabham Suresham
Vishvaadhaaram Gagana Sadrisham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
Lakshmiikaantam Kamalanayanam Yogibhidhyaarnagamyam
Vande Vishhnum Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham
Ugadi is the beginning of the year for the people of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharsahtra in India. This festival comes in March/April every year as the spring season arrives with trees decorating themselves with tender leaves in different colors, followed by beautiful blooms. The spring season is a symbol to the human kind that there is a hope and a reminder that we are blessed to be surrounded by beautiful nature. It is in spring that life comes back to normal after being barren for months.
According to the puranas, Brahma started creation on this day, Chaitra Shudda Padyami. Ugadi is a very important festival for people of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Mahrashtra. For them it is the beginning of a new year. In Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka they call the festival as 'Ugadi', and in Mahrsahtra they call it as Gudi Padwa.
On this day people wake up early, take a special head bath, and decorate their entrances with mango leaves symbolizing an invitation to material and spiritual flourish in to their homes and lives. The front yards are sprinkled with the water mixed in the cow dung and they are decorated with floral designs called 'rangoli'. Being a sacred animal cow.s dung is considered as a natural purification agent and contact with the cow dung believed to bring blessings into one.s life.
Food has a special place in all Hindu festivals. On Ugadi day rice dish is made with grated green mangoes. Different types of sweets are made as per the regional custom. One item that has a special significance on Ugadi days is 'Ugadi Pacchadi'(light tamarind juice mixed with five other tastes). The six tastes used in making Ugadi Pacchadi are: sweet, bitter, tang, sour, hot, and salty. Ugadi Pacchadi signifies that life is made of different experiences like happiness, sadness, bitterness, etc. Everyone must take these experiences equally and lead a balanced life. This pacchadi is also considered as healthy at this time of the year as hot season begins. It has its medicinal significance also.
In Maharashtra also people celebrate the day similarly by decorating their houses, cooking special dishes at home and offering special prayers at home and temples. It also marks the end of Rabi season, and the yield is taken to the markets. On this day people fill silver or brass pots are decorated with coconuts, mango leaves and wrapped in silk clothe and placed on a pole. This represents appreciation of nature.s bountiful gifts that were given to us by God.
Mahrsahtrians make Halwa, Srikhand and Kheer on this day as special dishes to celebrate the New Year.
An important component of Ugadi celebration is to go to the temple and listen to the year'ss predictions. Usually the priest or an expert in astrology gives full details of how the year will be for people of each zodiac sign, and also predictions related to politics, marriages, jobs, promotions, natural calamities, wars, rains, crops, etc. Further, experts in astrology advise people to perform certain pujas(prayer services) to minimize and eliminate the negative energy from their lives. It is strongly believed that praying to God by going to the temples and conducting prayer services at home will help to have a a peaceful and happy year for everyone. That.s why on Ugadi day all temples are packed with people.
One famous activity that is conducted on Ugadi day in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka is 'Kavi Sammelanam'(gathering of poets). In the Kavi Sammelanam poets gather and share their poetic talent. Poetry competitions are also conducted during Kavi Sammelanam. This also marks the beginning of new ventures in poetry, music and other literary areas.
One ancient talent that is demonstrated by experts on this day is 'Ashtavadhaanam', 'Shathavadhanam' and 'Sahasravadhanam'. This is an amazing skill that very few people have now-a-days. Depending upon the type, a literary expert must remember tricky and grammatical sentences and verses presented to him by eight, hundred and one thousand literary experts, and recall them in the same order at the end of the program. During the process some experts pose meaningless questions that are not at all related to distract the expert. The challenges is to remember the people with the verse that he/she presented in the same order, combine all the verses grammatically and present the content to the audience in poetic form. It is like one is expected to complete a brand new puzzle within a specific time, in the correct order by listening to the most difficult clues given by experts. It is an amazing test for one.s concentration, outstanding memory and brilliance in language.
Performing special prayers service(aaradhana) to the family gods, abhishekas(special bathing ceremony) at home and in the temples, reciting Sri Vishnu Sahasranaama Parayanam, Sri Lakhsmi Astothhara Parayanam and Sri Laitha Sahsaranaamam would bring peace and harmony into one.s life. Further it will help to remove any obstacles that one is likely to face during the year.