This year Ugadi will be celebrated in early April. Ugadi is the New Years for the Telegu and Kannada speaking communities of India. The date for Ugadi changes every year because it is based upon the Hindu calendar. Usually Ugadi is held somewhere between March and April. The celebrations last one day, which is a day where family and friends gather together. There is a special custom where people will consult the Panchangam for readings. The panchangam is a Hindu astrological almanac that predicts when rain will fall, the position of the moon and what days are auspicious for getting married or completing business contracts.
Ugadi is also a very feast intensive festival. There is a ritual where people will eat a dish consisting of six different tastes. These six flavors represent a separate emotion. Jaggery, which is a kind of cane sugar, represents the sweetness or joy of life. Edible flowers represent sadness, because flower petals tend to taste bland and when one is sad, food and life itself can seem plain. For obvious reasons chili pepper represents anger. Tamarind juice is sour, which represents disgust. Raw mango tastes tangy, which is supposed to represent surprise. Lastly salt symbolizes fear. All these flavors are a reminder that life is composed with varying emotions, both good and bad. Here is a video showing you how jaggery is mass produced:
A typical dish that is consumed on Ugadi is a dish called Holige or Obbattu. This is a type of snack with a sweet inner filing. Usually the filling or stuffing consists of jaggery, coconut or sugar. The outer part is a type of flat bread. To make the bread, you’ll need to knead the dough and flatten it. Then the filling is added and the dough wraps around the filling. Then the dough and the filling are flattened on a piece of paper which is then fried or baked. Traditionally the stuffing is made of sweet ingredients, but technically you can put anything you want inside of it. Here is a video that shows you one way to make it.