Ugadi 2023: Importance, Significance & Special Food To Eat

Learn about Ugadi's history and food.

Published On Mar 27, 2023 | Updated On Mar 08, 2024


Ugadi is a festival celebrated in some parts of India, particularly in South India. To answer the question of Ugadi being celebrated in which states, you can find it being celebrated in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. It is also known as Yugadi and is usually celebrated in March or April, marking the beginning of the New Year according to the Hindu calendar.

The origin of Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga and adi, meaning age and beginning respectively. The festival is observed with great enthusiasm and is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Ugadi festival's history dates back several centuries and is rooted in ancient Hindu mythology.

Ugadi’s significance, according to Hindu mythology, is that Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, began his creation on the day of the Ugadi. The legend goes that Lord Brahma created the earth and all its creatures, including humans. Ugadi is also associated with the lore of Lord Vishnu, who took the form of Matsya, the fish, to save the world from a catastrophic flood.
On Ugadi, people wake up early and take a bath before decorating their houses with mango leaves and drawing colourful patterns called rangolis at the entrance.

Ugadi 2023 will fall on April 1st, per the Hindu lunisolar calendar. People pray to the Gods and seek blessings for a prosperous New Year. The festival is an occasion for family reunions and people exchange greetings and gifts with their loved ones. Ugadi’s significance lies in the message of new beginnings and the hope for a better future.


Ugadi pachadi is made by mixing six different tastes - sweet, sour, salty, bitter, tangy, and spicy, representing the different experiences of life. The sweetness of jaggery represents happiness and joy, the sourness of tamarind represents challenges and difficulties, the saltiness represents fear and anxiety, the bitterness of neem flowers represents sadness and sorrow, the tanginess of raw mango represents surprises and opportunities and the spiciness of green chillies represents anger and frustration. By consuming this, people are reminded of the various experiences that life offers, both good and bad, and are encouraged to face them with equanimity and acceptance. It is a reminder that life is a mix of different emotions and experiences that are inevitable.


Tamarind rice, also known as pulihora, is another Ugadi special food. An important dish that holds Ugadi’s significance and has a deeper symbolic meaning. Tamarind rice is prepared using tamarind, a sour fruit mixed with other spices like mustard seeds, curry leaves, and peanuts. The sourness of tamarind in the dish represents the hardships of life.


Semiya payasam or vermicelli kheer is a sweet dish made using vermicelli, milk, sugar, and dry fruits. The consistency is rich and creamy, representing the sweetness of life and the need to savour it. It is also a symbol of prosperity and abundance because of the auspicious ingredients of milk and dry fruits. It is believed to bring blessings and protection from the Gods.


Lemon rice, also known as chitranna, is made using rice, lemon juice, and a mix of spices like mustard seeds, turmeric, and curry leaves. The tanginess of lemon in the dish represents the surprises and opportunities that life offers. Lemon rice is often served as part of a meal during Ugadi festivities, along with other dishes such as sambar, rasam, and poriyal.


About Ugadi’s other special dish which is everyone’s favourite is medu vada. Medu vada is typically served with chutney and sambar, a lentil-based vegetable stew. It is a popular breakfast item in South India and can also be found in restaurants and street food stalls throughout India. Medu vada is an important dish served during Ugadi celebrations as it represents the cycle of life and the need to maintain balance and harmony. It is also a nutritious and delicious dish that provides many health benefits.


Ugadi pickle is a spicy and tangy condiment made using a variety of vegetables and spices such as mango, lemon, ginger, garlic, red chilli powder, and mustard seeds. The ingredients are mixed and marinated for a few days, resulting in a tangy and spicy pickle enjoyed with rice, roti, or dosa. The preparation of Ugadi pickles varies from region to region, and each family may have its recipe. However, the pickle is always made in advance and allowed to sit for a few days to allow the flavours to blend.

Apart from this variety of pachadi and other Ugadi special food, you can also try these other pachadis like Mulakkadi Pachadi, Dosakaya Pachadi, Gongura Pachadi and Kanda Bachali Kura & Tomato Pachadi.

The importance of Ugadi is in its rich history and deep cultural significance. It marks the beginning of the New Year according to the Hindu calendar, and is associated with ancient Hindu mythology. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and marked by the preparation and consumption of Ugadi special food items, offering prayers to the deities, and seeking blessings for a prosperous year ahead.

If you are planning to celebrate Ugadi 2023, this guide will help you. Enjoy the new beginnings.

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