Our GSB community follows the lunar calendar of which Chaitramasa is the first month . So the first day of this month is celebrated as the New Year or Samsarpadavo / Samvatsara Prathama as it is known in Konkani – Prathama of the shuklapaksha in Chaitramasa ! Preparations to welcome this festival – Ugadi as it is known more popularly – start with spring cleaning the whole house and it surroundings . All cleaning jobs are finished by Amavasya / New moon which comes on the previous day ! So the whole house , Pooja room (Koodi ) , Front courtyard with the tulsi plant look spic & span . Thorans of mango leaves , neem leaves & flowers decorate the pooja room & house !
|Pic Courtesy – Padmini Kamath
Early morning of Ugadi day Family members take bath ( after applying oil to their heads ) All wear new clothes and men & male children who wear the sacred thread ‘Jannuve ‘ perform the Naamadhaaran and Nityakarma . Women bedeck themselves with ornaments and do Rangoli in the courtyard , door entrances and Tulsi Khatto ! All the lamps in the Deva kooda including the “Staana Divo ” are lit and Aarti is waved to the Gods asking for blessings for a bright & prosperous year ahead .
Pic Courtesy – Asha Radhakrishna Shenoy
Some families have a tradition of “Kani”- that is a plate is decorated with all auspicious items like a silk saree , gold , coins, flowers , haldi , kumkum and rice are arranged and shown to each family member as the first sight to behold when they get up on that day . Some arrange in the Deva kood itself and members are led there with their eyes closed by the elder of the family !
The new Panchaangam is also kept in the pooja room . In some families the Bhatmaam/purohit comes and reads the Panchaang forecasting the family’s fortunes for that year .At other places people go to the temples to hear the “Samsaar Phal”or Ugadi Phal . Also in some families a token gift of coins is given to each member .
A temple visit is a must on this day and all partake of the prasad which is a mix of sugar /jaggery & neem leaves . As per Brahmakalpa, the sweet cum bitter prasadam signifies the good and bad part of life and has to be dealt with equal emotions .
Usually Breakfast consists of ‘Udida Khaan’ which will be mostly Khottos with coconut chutney. Of course an elaborate lunch with special delicacies are prepared for this day ! For those living in and around Kochi Kerala – the main special dishes will be Hittu , Kelya Ambat , allen ,papad, kelya phedi, sukke, edgai, elchakeri, valval, ghassi and of course the most popular dali thoy finishing off with some sweet paysu and of course – all this to be served on a banana leaf !
In and around mangalore in some families – there is tradition of “Vadap” ie all the special foods cooked on that day is served on banana leaf along with godu phovu and a new saree is kept on a wooden plank ” manayee” decorated with flowers .The master of house performs a aarti to it in remembrance of all the Sumangali ladies of the family who have passed away .He partakes of this later and gives the saree to his wife. For lunch the main dishes include tendle bibbe ambat,madgane ,any ghashi using kadgi or surnu & deep fries .In mangalore people also make ambe upkari ,chane ghashi along with other delicacies while some families prepare tendle bibbe ambat.Onion & garlic are not to be used in any of the dishes !
Here are two typical jevana paans-Recipes of which you can find in our blog !
Newly married daughters are invited specially for this festival , The couple are made to sit on a manayee , gifts and token money is given and blessed by the elders .
In Mangalore GSB Temples the evening pooja or Vasantha pooja (in Vasantha Rithu) starts on Ugadi day and after pooja so many panvaru or Nivedyu such as phova chutney, chana upkari, mooga dali usli, thausha pachchadi, sheera, Godda Panak and fruits are distributed.
In this age of fast moving lives and Konkani people living far away from their native homes – we hope this reminds you of our unique culture & traditions ! This is an attempt to put together the traditional way of celebrating our New Year ! Some variations may exist from family to family! .Thanks to my dear friends who helped me in compiling this post- Padmini Kamath , Vijayalakshmi Prabhu , Asha Radhakrishna Shenoy , Sandhya Puranik & Jayashri Shenoy akka !