Ougadi, the Lunar New Year’s Day for the people of the Telugu faith.
Ougadi is the Lunar New Year’s Day for the people of the Telugu faith in India. Since some of Mauritian’s ancestors come from the region of Andhra Pradesh, some of us, in Mauritius, celebrate Ugadi as well.
This celebration is usually celebrated at the end of March or early April in the western calendar and this date moon signifies a change in the seasons and essentially means Ugadi is a spring festival.
Preparations for Ugadi begin a week in advance. Like any other festivals in Mauritius, an in depth cleaning of the house is done and new clothes are shopped for the special day. On the day of Ugadi, a tradition is to get up and have a bath with saffron or a head massage with sesame oil. Then the devotees head to the temple for special prayers before spending the day with the whole family.
A special delicacy is prepared during Ugadi. It is called Bevu Bella, a paste made from jaggery (sugar), neem buds, tamarind juice, and raw mango. The paste combines several sweet and sour tastes.
In Mauritius, the day of Ugadi has been declared a public holiday. The celebrations are mostly enjoyed with the family and friends.