Ugadi marks the beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar with a change in the moon's orbit. It is a season for raw mangoes spreading its aroma in the air and the fully blossomed neem tree that makes the air healthy. Also, jaggery made with fresh crop of sugarcane adds a renewed flavor to the typical dishes associated with Ugadi
Preparations for the festival begin a week ahead. Houses are given a thorough wash. Shopping for new clothes and buying other items that go with the requirements of the festival are done with a lot of excitement.
On Ugadi day, people wake up before the break of dawn and take a head bath after which they decorate the entrance of their houses with fresh mango leaves. The significance of tying mango leaves relates to a legend. It is said that Kartik (or Subramanya or Kumara Swamy) and Ganesha, the two sons of Lord Siva and Parvathi were very fond of mangoes. As the legend goes Kartik exhorted people to tie green mango leaves to the doorway signifying a good crop and general well-being.
After doing prayers, we serve jaggery mixed with neem leaves. The bitter taste of neem leaves and the sweet of jaggery symbolize joy and sorrow in life. Here we just had jaggery as we din't get neem flowers:-).
This festival brings back lots of memories. It is mainly of the food we used to have. We used to help our mom prepare the feast. After doing the pooja we used to sit down and eat on banana leaves. This time, I found banana leaves in a mexican store and was very exited. I have tried my best to do all the dishes my mom used to make for this festival. So here is the feast on a banana leaf..
The dishes are from left ..Salt, Kossambari (salad), Hullikayi Palya( Green beans fry), Thondekayi Palya( Tindora fry), Aloogadde Fry (Aloo Fry), Mosaru Pachadi( Raita), Mavinakayi Chitaranna (Mango Rice), Halasandi vade (Black eyed peas vada), Shavige Payasa (Payasam), Burfi, Obattu (Puran poli), Rice and Obattu Saru ( Rasam).
Will post the recipes soon.. Happy Ugadi..