Mangalore, March 16, 2010
The new Hindu Year starts on Chaitra Shukla Padya day (which falls on March 16 this year), as per the Hindu lunar calendar. Ugadi literally means the ‘beginning of a new era’, and signifies the onset of the spring season. It is believed that on this day, vibes from Lord Brahma, creator, happen to be on full bloom, and that any task taken up on this day moves ahead without any obstacles.
On Ugadi day, people get up early, apply oil and rub their bodies, before taking bath in hot water. The front door and puja room of the house are decorated with festoons created by using mango leaves and red flowers. Attractive Rangolis are drawn on the ground ahead of the front door, after washing it cleanly. As it is the day of the creator, Lord Brahma is worshipped at first, followed by Lord Vishnu. People visit temples, offer puja to the presiding deities and collect and consume a concoction made by heating neem leaves and flowers, split Bengal gram and jaggery, which is first offered to the deity, to indicate that the people are duty-bound to accept successes and bitter experiences that they might encounter during the year, without getting unduly ecstatic or perturbed.
On this day, reading of the new Panchangam (Hindu almanac) that begins from this day, wherein detailed predictions for the new year are given, are arranged with help of scholars, at temples and other places. Listening to these details is considered to be auspicious. On this day, flags are hoisted at the temples, special pujas are performed, and prayers are offered for the well-being of the devotees.
Customarily, people wear new clothes on this day. Like the new spouts of various vegetations that take birth during this season, it is believed, that people who wear new clothes on this New Year Day keep getting new clothes, and those who remain happy on Ugadi, continue to happy all through the year.
In Mangalore, normaly Kotte (Idli batter steam-cooked in shapes woven by using jack fruit leaves), tender coconut and Tondekai, bengal gram ghashi, Podi and Madgane (sweet porridge) are made on Ugadi, which are offered as 'Naivedya' to the Lord before being consumed.