Early in the morning ladies of the house buy a new pot and decorate it with various natural colours like turmeric and kumkum. This pot is used to prepare Ugadi Pachchadi. Pachchadi is made with Jaggery, Mango, coconut, neem flowers, fruits, tamarind. It is a special beverage prepared for this occasion only. Since it contains various ingredients having strong flavours in sourness, bitterness, sweetness and salty, which symbolises that the year is going to be made of ups and downs, yet you will drink it will pleasure and cherish it to the end.
Also I find it very interesting that even though the core ingredients remain the same, Pachchadi tastes different in every home. It signifies the nature of a woman and family. It shows that every home has its own flavour and however alike we all are, life will taste different to us. It is in the skillful effort the person preparing the Pachchadi that it is appreciated by the visitors. Pachchadi is prepared differently in AP as compared to Telangana. This is my general observation and doesn’t extend to comprise everyone in the region, the Pachchadi is prepared in liquid form in Telangana while in the Rayalaseema it is prepared more of like a eatable containing all dry ingredients with no liquid.
Along with the Pachchadi another very famous dish enjoyed on this day is Pollelu. It is a stuffed roti with jaggery and gram dal crushed very fine. It tastes awesome with Pachchadi and sweet ladoos. After enjoying the initial celebration, a huge feast is observed with all the family members present.
This day is equally celebrated as new year in Karnataka as Yugadi and Maharashtra as Gudi Padwa. It is amazing mix of culture, celebration, science and tradition blended into a single very simple occasion.
I believe this all started to channelise people and refresh them with seasons. As this festival coincides with the onset of summer using a new pot for this occasion and then later on use for drinking water over the entire year, which keeps the water very cool. It is a very ingenious and thoughtful idea proposed.
It must be understood that the culture and tradition carries lot of knowledge and wisdom of the previous generations and the celebrations or festivals have in depth reasoning behind them. With time and trends we are losing such valuable learnings and the generation Y considers this as superstitions. In the last one decade I have seen that the celebration has reduced very much.
This post is a part of series in Discovering the Cultural Significance of various rituals and festivals in India.