Ugadi

It is a Telugu new year, the season of spring.It is Chaitra masa (the first month of the year.The bright fortnight (sukla paksha).Among the days, the first day of the lunar month.It has special significance as marking the commencement of a new year.Ugadi is also the day on which Krishna gave up his mortal body in a sacred place of pilgrimage called Prabhasa near Dwaraka.

The rural folks eat "Ugadi Pacchadi,Ugadi Chutney on this day.This Chutney is made from neem flowers, mango juice, honey sugar and other ingredients with different tastes.The significance of this preparation is that - life is a mixture of good and bad, joy and sorrow and all of them have to be treated alike. The primary message of the Ugadi festival is a follows - Every one should vow that whatever happens in this year,will be faced in a good spirit and accepted in with good grace. Whatever happens is for one's own good.Men should rise above sorrow and happiness, success and failure.

When the Pandavas lived, the time scales were determined on the basis of the longitude which passed through Lanka.When we take this as the basis, we come to the conclusion that the period which we now call kali yuga started in the year,Pramadi,in the month of 'Shravan', in the fortnight Bahula and on the day of Ashtami.According to the English calendar,this would be February 20th, 3102 B.C.

In order to set up the criteria of a new yuga on February 20th, 3102 B.C.our ancestors named that day as 'Ugadi'. Ugadi is derived from the word 'Yugaadi'.Yuga means Era and Adi means Start ie start of thr era means begining of the new year.

Auspicious days like Ugadi should be used for making resolutions to change our way of life and to purify our behaviour by giving up all bad qualities. Ugadi is a festival that teaches lessons in selfless service. It is not intended for feasting. It is a sacred day when wholesome wisdom should dawn and enlightenment should blossom in the hearts of the people. Ugadi teaches man the lesson that he should perfect himself as an embodiment of divinity.

Ugadi Pachadi Recipe

Ingredients

3 table spoon neem flower
2 table spoon tamarind
4 table spoon grated jaggery
1 table spoon oil
1 table spoon finely chopped raw mango
1-1/4 cup water
Pinch of Red Chilli Powder, 1/4 table spoon Mustard Seeds
Salt as per requirement

Method

1. Soak tamarind in water for 30 minutes
2. Boil the water for about 5 minutes
3. Cool and blend in mixie till smooth
4. Pass through a sieve, removing any fibres, etc
5. Add mango pieces to the juice
6. Boil till mango pieces are tender
7. Add jaggery, let it cook till it melts
8. Remove from fire and keep aside
9. Heat oil, add mustard seeds
10. When it splutter,add neem flower and fry till light brown
11. Add chilli powder and salt
12. Mix well
13. Mix the neem flower to tamarind juice
14. Serve to your guests.