Hyderabad: It’s been a long weekend for people in Andhra Pradesh. Following some confusion over when Ugadi or the New Year should be celebrated, the state government finally decided to usher in the New Year twice.
Ugadi was celebrated a day earlier in Maharashtra and Karnataka but Monday's solar eclipse and new moon – which are considered inauspicious by some – had led to disagreement on the date of the New Year in Andhra Pradesh.
The state government held its official Ugadi celebrations on Monday but declared Tuesday an optional holiday after religious heads of some temples insisted on postponing the celebrations.
“Ugadi is the Telugu New Year which was to be celebrated on Monday but because of the solar eclipse it has been postponed. We had to shut down the temple and perform special pujas on Monday. So, Tuesday is Ugadi for us,” says Lakshmamma of Kattamaisamma Temple.
Andhraiites who had chosen Tuesday to mark their New Year began the day with pujas.
Young girls wore traditional pattulangas, kanchipattu sarees and jewelry to celebrate the festival while entrances to homes were decorated with festoons to welcome the New Year.
“Ugadi is the Telugu New Year. It is nice to dress up in a traditional dress during an auspicious day like today,” says a student from Hyderabad, Gayatri.
The main feature of the day is the preparation of the Ugadi Pacchadi – a special dish made with mango, neem flowers, fruits, tamarind, jaggery and chilly powder.
The six tastes of the pacchadi are supposed to represent the six feelings of a human being.
“I had never tasted the Ugadi pacchadi earlier. It is delicious and different,” says a German Student, Olga.
Though, the solar eclipse delayed the Telugu New Year by a day, the festive spirit still remained as Andhra Pradesh welcomed the New Year with great gusto.