Hyderabad, March 23 (IANS) Telugu-speaking people Friday ushered in Telugu New Year 'Ugadi' in a traditional manner and with gaiety.
Telugus across Andhra Pradesh decorated their houses and shops with mango leaves, tasted the traditional 'Ugadi pacchadi' and heard 'panchangnam' or the forecast of the coming year by 'agma' pundits to usher in the new year.
Women prepared 'Ugadi pacchadi', a mixture of neem buds, raw mango, tamarind juice, pepper, jaggery and salt, - a must for the celebrations. The mixture symbolizes that life is a mixture of different experiences like happiness and sadness, which should be accepted together and with equanimity.
Thousands of devotees thronged the temple to pray for happiness and prosperity in the New Year. Special prayers were held at Tirumala, Srisailam and Vijayawada temples.
People also attend special functions where the pundits read out 'panchangnam' or religious almanac of the coming year. Literary discussions, poetry recitations, recognition of authors through award and cultural programmes marked the day.
The main official function was held at Ravindra Bharati in the state capital, where an agma pundit read out the religious almanac of the coming year.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and some of his cabinet colleagues attended the main celebrations and tasted 'Ugadi pacchadi'.
People who excelled in different spheres of life were felicitated on the occasion. They included farmers who adopted innovative methods of cultivation and the officials who rendered services to farmers.
The chief minister announced that world Telugu conference would be held in December this year at Tirupati. He noted that for the first time after 1976 that world Telugu conference would be organized.
'Ugadi' celebrations were also held at Gandhi Bhavan, the headquarters of ruling Congress party and at NTR Trust Bhavan, the office of main opposition Telugu Desam Party.
Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, the chief minister, leader of opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu and others greeted people on the occasion of 'Ugadi' and hoped that the New Year would bring happiness and prosperity for Telugus around the world.
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