Monthly Archives: March 2012


Ugadi, or more appropriately, Yugadi, is formed by the joining of two words – yuga (age) and adi (beginning).  It is the New Year’s Day for the people of the Deccan region of India.  It marks the first day of the month of Chaitra (March- April), which is the first month according to the Indian calendar.

In Andhra and Karnataka, the day is termed Yugadi/Ugadi.  In Maharashtra the same day is observed as Gudi Padva.  Sindhis celebrate Cheti Chand, Manipuris call it Sajibu Cheiroba, and the Punjabis call it Baisakhi.

The Kannada, Marathi, Telugu and the Konkani communities in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, TamilNadu and Kerala celebrate the festival with great fanfare; gatherings of the extended family and a sumptuous feast are ‘de rigueur’. The day, begins with ritual showers (oil bath) followed by prayers.

One particular dish of a quaint mixture of tastes is an integral part of the feast.

The special mixture consists of ingredients that have strong flavours, symbolising the various human emotions.  It is believed that this is a reminder that the year ahead is likely to bring with it a number of circumstances which will be accompanied by some of these emotions at all times, but we pray for the strength to meet all these with equanimity – tide over the difficult times with forbearance and celebrate the good times with gratitude.

The ‘pachadi’ consists of:

Sometime during the day, people traditionally gather to listen to the recitation of the religious Panchangam (almanac) of the new year, and the general forecast of the year to come. This is called the ‘Panchanga Sravanam‘, an informal social function where an elderly and respected person refers to the new almanac and makes a general benediction to all present.

Festive wishes

When you meet any Telugu people and want to wish them for Telugu New Year, you say “Ugadi Shubhakankshalu –

In Kannada, the greeting would be “Yugadi Habbada Shubhashayagalu” – (Greetings for the festival of Yugadi) or “Hosa varshada shubhashayagalu” – (Greetings on the new year).

In Konkani, it would be Navve varsache shubhashyay, Samvatsar padvyachi shubheccha.

In Marathi, it would be Gudhi padvyachya hardik shubhechcha.

Karadaiyan Nonbu


Karadaiyan nonbu is celebrated by ladies of the  Brahmin community  during the transition of theTamil Month Maasi into Panguni. The ladies observe fast on that day and make the adai and offer it to God along with butter.

This year Nonbu falls on the 14th of March.

Also known as Savitri Vrat, Karadaiyan Nonbu ritual is observed by all married women for the well being of their husbands and to pray that they as couples should remain together always. Unmarried women also observe Karadaiyan Nonbu and pray to Goddess Shakti to identify a good man for a life partner
Karadaiyan Nonbu is celebrated in honour of Sathi Savithri’s success in bringing back her husband Sathyavan’s life from the hands of Yama Dev, the God of Death. This is why the ritual is known as Savithri Nonbu.

On the appointed day, women prepare the sweet adai made of pounded rice and jiggery.  Each lady sits behind a banana leaf placed on a kolam.  She is served adai and butter, and betel leaves and nuts and fresh flowers are also placed before her.  Other additions include a savoury version of the adai, a banana, etc.  She also places the Nonbu sharadu – a sacred cotton thread dipped in turmeric.  At the exact time specified, all the ladies symbolically offer all that is placed in front of them to the Goddess Gowri or Shakthi, with the words:

“Urugada Vennaiyum Oradaiyum Naan Tharuven
Orukaalum En Kanavar Ennai Piriyadirukkanum”

After this, Nonbu Charadu is tied around the neck.
After wearing the sharadu, the ladies partake of the prasadam of adai on their leaves.

The sharadu should ideally not be removed until the next Karadaiyan Nonbu.  The tradition of Kaaradayan Nonbu every year is believed to attain a long married life.

Karadaiyan Nonbu festival is celebrated with great importance on the Southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.