Happy Ugadi 2022

April 2, 2022 0 Comments

Ugadi marks the beginning of spring and is symbolic of a new year, a new life, new hopes and aspirations. The term Ugadi is an amalgamation of two words: ‘yug’ meaning ‘age’ and ‘adi’ meaning ‘a new beginning’. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma created the universe on this day. 

Ugadi is about the balance of good and bad. ‘Bevu Bella’ a mixture of neem and jaggery is eaten on this day. Neem plays an integral role in Ugadi festivities – be it food or decoration. Neem is a bitter plant and neem leaves and flowers are mixed with sweet jaggery and eaten, signifying a balance of good and bad. 

As a Ugadi ritual, we also clean the home and then decorate with rangolis and fresh flowers. We tie mango leaves at the doorstep as a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. As a kannadiga, I prepare local Karnataka Ugadi specialties  made of raw mangoes and coconut like ‘Mavinkayi Chitranna’ (green mango rice) and ‘Kaayi Obbattu’ (coconut stuffed sweet flat bread). 

We decorate the entrance of the home with Mango leaf buntings (Mango leaf Thorana). ‘Thorana’ meaning gateway in Sanskrit, is a garland-like decorative, made out of mango-tree leaves. Fresh Mango leaves are attached to a string and are hung atop the doors and entrances. Symbolically it signifies freshness, prosperity and the hope of a good harvest and an incident free year. It is believed to ward off evil spirits or any negative energy entering the house. 

Mango Tree is One Among the Most Sacred Trees

The mango tree is considered to be one among the most sacred trees and a sacred symbol of Hinduism in India. It plays a major role in the culture and the tradition of the Hindus. The mango leaves have a lot of religious significance and the tree is believed to grant lot of wishes. It is supposed to be a symbol of love and Goddess Mahalakshmi. There are lot of mentions about the Mango tree in various Puranas and is associated with a number of Gods, Goddesses and spirits. The mango tree and its leaves are believed to be the residence of Gods like Lakshmi, Govardhan, Gandharva and Kama, the God of fertility.

The leaves of Mangifera indica, a particular species of mango, have been used in healing practices like Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. We happen to have a mango tree in our tiny garden and I’m going to give it a lot more love now after learning about its significance.

May the bitterness of neem, the sourness of the green mango, and the jaggery’s sweetness remind us that life is a mixed bag of emotions. So let’s vow to enjoy every moment and put our best feet forward—a very Happy Ugadi to you and your family!