Ugadi - The Kannada new year
and The Kannada Brahmin way of celebration
This is the night before...
Slender lines form a fabulous rangoli patterns on the floor just outside the main door.
Green mango leaves are strung into a thorana and now they adorn the entrance doorway swaying in the gentle breeze. A few sprigs of neem leaves are stuck at the two ends of the thoran.
On the day of Ugadi - The first day after new moon in March - Chaitra shuddha padya
Bevu-bella (neem flowers crushed with jaggery ) is made. After an early bath everyone gets a small bit of Bevu-bella. Signifying the inevitable presence of the good and the bad in our life.
Children are told, if the bevu-bella tastes bitter then the rest of the year will be joyous. We ask each other - what taste did you get bitter or sweet?
The taste of neem is so overpowering, the bitterness lingers and we are overjoyed. As now we know the rest of the year will be just fine. There is no greater joy than HOPE and the sweet taste of SUCCESS.
bevu-bella gives you both!
The ladies (ya, very rarely the men, though I know Nanjund mava often helped) get busy in the kitchen. Raw-mango rice, crisp heerekai bajjis and bele-vobbattu. That is the menu of the day.
Every year has a name. 2012 - 2013 is called Nandana. So this year at every festival we will be chanting Nandana nama samvatsare...
The panchanga or the almanac gives the annual forecast for the year and for the individual. There is even a description of how the year is personified. The elder reads the almanac and the family gathers to listen.
It is a lot of fun and is a ritual that is enjoyed!
You know, there is a part in the almanac that tell you the Earning and the Spending for the year ... on a count of 10!
Today is Ugadi
Wish you all a very happy year
May your bevu-bella forecast happiness and success