Ugadi in India ― Date, History, and Details

Ugadi in India

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History of Ugadi in India and How to Celebrate/ Observe It

Ugadi is the New Year’s Day for the people of the Deccan region of India. It is also known as Yugadi. The day is observed on the first day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Chaitra. This typically occurs in March or April of the Gregorian calendar. The word Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga (age) and ādi (beginning): “the beginning of a new age”.

Ugadi is observed as a public holiday in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana and some parts of Kerala. The day is also celebrated by the Indian diaspora in countries such as Australia, Canada, Fiji, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, United States and by Hindus of Trinidad and Tobago.

The day begins early with people taking a holy bath, wearing new clothes and eating a special dish called Ugadi Pachadi. This dish is made of six different tastes which represent the different emotions that one experiences in life. They are:

1. Sweet – to represent happiness
2. Sour – to represent anger
3. Salt – to represent fear
4. Bitter – to represent disgust
5. Astringent – to represent surprise

After the meal, people offer prayers to Lord Brahma and seek his blessings for a prosperous and happy year ahead.