A Celebration of Tradition, Culture and New Beginnings

A Celebration of Tradition, Culture and New Beginnings

Ugadi has always stayed close to the heart of South Indians. People from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra celebrate this festival with great fervor and joy. The festival mostly falls in the month of April or March, which commemorates the beginning of a new year. Here you will find some basic information on the cultural aspect behind the Ugadi festival and how you can indulge in the beautiful festivities. 

What is the Ugadi Festival? 

Ugadi is one of the most vibrant Hindu festivals celebrated in different parts of the country. It commemorates the renewal where people welcome the beginning of the New Year with full enthusiasm. This festival also signifies the transition from one era to another. People celebrate this special day with great spirits, positive impressions and outlook, mentally and physically. It also signifies the onset of spring, a time of renewal and rejuvenation. 

Ugadi includes different traditional rituals, games, vibrant decorations, and a delectable array of foods. Based on Hindu mythologies, the prominent god associated with this festival is lord Brahma. According to the old mythologies, the festival is celebrated to mark the day when Brahma created the universe. Apart from this, there are also many other events that are associated with the festival. 

Despite lord Brahma, various other deities are also worshiped during Ugadi. For instance, Lord Vishnu is one of the gods worshiped on Ugadi in Karnataka. People also worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha during the festival. The devotees offer prayers by visiting the temples and also worshiping the idols at home. 

Preparations and Decorations

Days surrounding Ugadi bustles with different activities and preparations. People are engaged even before a week by cleaning and decorating the house to welcome the New Year. People clean the house and decorate it with colorful rangolis and traditional motifs and symbols, mango leaves, and marigold flowers. This is mainly done to welcome prosperity and ward off evil spirits. 

Some Top Dishes and Snacks Prepared During Ugadi

Below mentioned are some of the most common Ugadi dishes and snacks prepared at home and relished. 

Ugadi Pachadi

Ugadi pachadi is one of the most common dishes prepared during the festival that symbolizes great meanings. According to ancient belief, this unique concoction encapsulates the essence of life with a blend of different flavors like sweet, spicy, tangy, bitter, and salty. 

The ingredients of Ugadi pachadi resemble the myriad of experiences in life. For instance, jaggery symbolizes sweetness or good experiences in life, tamarind signifies sourness, salt embodies saltiness, neem leaves represent bitterness, raw mango denotes tanginess and green chilis represent spiciness. Together these flavors represent and remind us of the ups and downs of life. It also gives us a message to face life with equanimity. 


Holige is also another delectable sweet dish served during Ugadi in most households. This is a sweet flatbread stuffed with lentils, jaggery, and cardamom. Holige, or puran poli, as it is known in Maharashtra and other states, is a beloved Ugadi delicacy for many. The melt-in-the-mouth texture and aromatic flavor of puran poli is something you will savour for a long time. You can pair it with hot ghee to enhance the flavors and textures. 

Mango Rice

Mango rice is considered as the main course filling dish prepared during the festival. As mango shows the arrival of summer, mango rice is a very popular Ugadi specialty prepared in most households. It is prepared using some basic ingredients like raw mangoes, curry leaves, mustard seeds and some basic spices. 


Ugadi is incomplete without a bowl of creamy, sweet and indulgent payasam. There are different types of payasam made in different regions. However, the most common variety includes the one made using rice. It is made using rice, milk, and sugar. The ultimate flavors of the payasam come from the cardamom, saffron, and nuts added to enrich the flavors and textures. 

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Obbattu Saaru

This flavorsome lentil soup is made using the leftover stuffing from Holige/Puran Payasam/Kheer: No festive feast is complete without a bowl of creamy, indulgent Payasam or Kheer. Made with rice, milk, and sugar, and flavored with cardamom, saffron, and nuts, this rich dessert is a delightful finale to the Ugadi celebrations.


Crispy, golden-brown vadas, made from a batter of urad dal, seasoned with spices, and deep-fried to perfection, is a popular savory snack enjoyed during Ugadi gatherings.


Tangy and flavorful, Pulihora, or Tamarind Rice, is a classic South Indian dish prepared with cooked rice tossed in a tangy tamarind paste, tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves, and garnished with roasted peanuts.

Celebrating Unity in Diversity

Ugadi transcends regional boundaries and brings people from diverse backgrounds together in a spirit of unity and harmony. Regardless of caste, creed, or religion, Ugadi fosters a sense of communal harmony, where people come together to celebrate the richness of their cultural heritage and forge bonds of friendship and camaraderie.


Ugadi is not just a festival; it is a celebration of life, love, and togetherness. As families gather around the dining table, sharing laughter, stories, and delicious food, they create cherished memories that linger in their hearts long after the festivities have ended. 

Through its vibrant rituals and sumptuous feasts, Ugadi reminds us of the beauty of tradition, the importance of gratitude, and the eternal cycle of life's seasons. So, as we bid farewell to the old and welcome the new with open arms, let us rejoice in the spirit of Ugadi and savor every moment of this joyous occasion.

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