Telugu New Year’s Day celebrated with fanfareApril 7th, 2008 - 4:49 pm ICT by admin
Hyderabad, April 7 (IANS) Ugadi, the Telugu New Year’s Day, was celebrated Monday across Andhra Pradesh in a traditional manner and amid fanfare. Telugus, or the Telugu-speaking people, offered special pujas, decorated their houses and shops with mango leaves, tasted the traditional ‘Ugadi pacchadi’ and heard ‘panchangnam’ or the forecast of the coming year by ‘agma’ pundits to usher in the New Year.
Thousands of devotees thronged temples to pray for happiness and prosperity in the New Year. Special prayers were held at Tirumala and Srisailam temples.
Like every year, the state government organised an official function ‘panchangna sarvanam’, at Ravindra Bharati in the state capital, where an agma pundit read out the religious almanac of the coming year. He forecast that the coming year would bring good rains and more prosperity for the state and its people.
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and some of his cabinet colleagues attended the main celebrations and tasted ‘Ugadi pacchadi’, a sweet-sour mixture especially prepared on the occasion.
People taste the mixture of neem buds, raw mango, tamarind juice, pepper, jaggery and salt. It symbolizes that life is a mixture of different experiences like happiness and sadness, which should be accepted together and with equanimity.
People also attended special functions where the pundits read out ‘panchangnam’ or religious almanac of the coming year. Literary discussions, poetry recitations, recognition of authors through award and cultural programmes marked the day.
At the main official function, the chief minister presented awards to 34 prominent people from 12 different walks of people. Of these 29 were honoured with ‘Ugadi puraskarams’ while five received ‘kalaratna’ awards for literature, music, dance and painting. He also felicitated 30 veda pundits on the occasion.
The chief minister, in his speech, hoped that the new year would bring more happiness and prosperity for nearly 80 million people of the state and Telugus living in different parts of the world.
He used the occasion to list out the steps taken by his government during the last four years for the development and welfare of the state and its people.