Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Celebrating Ugadi

(Maya's first Ugadi)

Since my in-law's moved in with us last year, it's been great to celebrate more of the festivals first-hand and also have more of a heavy presence of Hinduism in our lives. We have made a little pooja corner in the North-east portion of our home, to which my in-law's have added all of their idols to ours. Every morning, my mother-in-law does a small pooja and lights the diya's, incense, and gives an offering of fruit to the Gods. Not only does it add a beautiful smell to our home in the morning, but it adds a little more tradition to our home. Maya often participates in the pooja's and loves looking at all the Gods in the morning. I love waking up to it as it gives off a really nice energy to seize the day ahead.

We usually celebrate Tamil festivals predominantly, so it was lovely to celebrate the Telugu festival of Ugadi last week. While my father-in-law is Tamil, my mother-in-law is a Telugu lady from Guntur. When she married my father-in-law, she also married into a completely different culture, and had to learn not only a different language, but also a new set of festivals and customs. With her living here, it has been wonderful to learn more about the Telugu festivals from her culture. I have never celebrated Ugadi before, so it was really interesting to learn about it. (Note: it is also celebrated in Karnataka as well).

So, how did we celebrate it this year?

First, Maya and my mother-in-law took a bath and put on a new outfits. Then my mother-in-law was cooking up a storm! She made tamarind rice, veg fritters, and carrot halwa. She also prepared Ugadi Pachadi (a special New Year dish that consists of six different tastes: sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, spicy, etc.). They decorated our pooja corner with fresh flowers, and gave an offering of the food she made, including a fruit platter to the Gods. They both did the ashtothram together, which is chanting the 108 names of the God/Goddess. Maya did an offering of akshata and flowers. She was very excited about this and participated fully in the festival.

(Our pooja corner)

(Maya and mother-in-law doing the chanting)

Ugadi is known as "Telugu New Year" and it is symbolic that one must appreciate ALL the experiences in the upcoming year - both good and bad - and make the most of it. I really like the meaning behind this - because as much as we would hope the year ahead would be only good, there will also be some bad too. Some sweet moments and salty moments. Achievements and failures. And you must accept both, be open to both, and also expect a mix of both - because that's just life!


Do you celebrate Ugadi?
If so, how did you celebrate it?


1 comment

  1. నూతన సంవత్సర శుభాకాంక్షలు( Wishing you a great happy new year). I am Venkat from Andhra pradesh, currently residing in Bangalore. I have been following your blog for last one year. Its so nice to read about intercultural marriages and experiences from other end.
    Thank you.


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