Dussehra

Major festivals Celebrated in Andhra Culture

Festivals are one way to understand any culture, right? The way we celebrate, the food that we prepare, the traditions that we follow etc., say a lot about our culture. We, Indians have many festivals to celebrate and this post is about the festivals celebrated in the Southern part of India in Andhra Pradesh state.

Sankranthi

The First Important festival celebrated by Hindus is the Makara Sankranthi. This is also called the Harvest festival. “Sankranthi” in the Sanskrit language means the transmigration of the Sun to another zodiac sign.

I love making rangolis with colors for this festival. I also love the traditional food that we prepare for this festival like chakralu (crispy fritters), arisalu (Sweet made with rice flour and jaggery) and laddus.

Explaining Sankranthi to Kids

Sankranthi Rangoli - Muggulu
Sankranthi Rangoli – Muggulu

Ugadi

The Next important festival for us is Ugadi.  Ugadi is usually celebrated in March and it is considered to be Telugu New year.

We prepare a special dish called ‘Ugadi Pachadi’ on that day, which has 6 different flavors/ tastes. This is to remember that life is full of ups, downs, bitterness, happiness and a mixed bag of feelings.

Ugadi Pachadi made with the following flavors is my favorite.

salt (salty-ness), jaggery (sweet), neem flowers (bitterness), tamarind/ mango (sourness), banana (tardy ness) and green chilies (spice).

Ugadi Pachadi
Ugadi Pachadi

We also prepare Pulihora (Rice item spiced with tempering) and Mango dal on that day.

We follow a tradition of listening to “Panchaga sravanam” which is a future prediction told by pandits reading the panchangam (predictions written for different zodiac signs).

Sreerama Navami

Sreerama Navami is celebrated on the 9th day after the beginning of the new year.  We pray Lord Rama on this day.

We prepare Panakam (a drink made with water, pepper , nd jaggery) which is good to beat the summer heat.

In Bhadrachalam, Seetha rama kalyanam (A marriage of God Rama and Goddess Sita) is celebrated on that day and many devotees attend the event.

Read more about the festival here.

Sita rama kalyanam
srirama navami

Varalakshmi Vratham

We celebrate Varalakshmi vratham/ Pooja in August. Married women usually do pooja and fast the whole day.  Like many other festivals, we prepare a lot of dishes to offer God and later we feast. Some famous items are Garelu, Boorelu, Payasam, and pulihora.

Read more about the festival here.

Vinayaka Chavithi

Vinayaka Chavithi is another major festival where the whole family participates together. Vinayaka Chavithi is a festival celebrated to pray Lord Ganesha who is worshipped to ensure new beginnings and avoid all hurdles in the path of success.

We usually buy a clay idol of Lord Ganesha, hang all types of fruits above the God on a wooden structure called palavelli and perform pooja. We also prepare many tasty dishes like talukalu (made with rice flour and jaggery and milk), pulihora, chalividi (sweet made with rice flour and jaggery) etc.,

Read more about the festival here.

Dasara

Dasara is a festival celebrated around September where we pray Goddess Durga for 9 days. Women also chant “Lalitha sahasranamam” (religious chant) every evening on those 9 days.  We set idols in a step pattern for display and we call this “Bommala Koluvu”.

Read more about the festival here.

Dussehra
Dussehra

Deepavali

The last and the most exciting festival of the year is Deepavali. Deepavali means an array of lights.

This festival is celebrated to signify the win of Good over evil.  We prepare rangolis with flowers, light lamps and illuminate our houses with lights.

We pray Goddess Lakshmi on that day for wealth and prosperity.  We also prepare a lot of yummy sweets like Kaju barfi and gulab jamun.

We burst firecrackers too. Yes, it’s a lot of fun. 🙂

Deepavali Fire crackers
Deepavali Fire crackers

Read more about the festival here.

We also celebrate festivals like Maha Siva ratri, Nagula chanviti, and Atlathaddi.

So, that’s about some of the major festivals celebrated by Telugu people. People from Andhra Pradesh talk the Telugu language. Share all the festivals you celebrate in the comments below.

 

 

 

Author: Mahathi Ramya

I am a mom of 2 boys, a classical dance teacher, software testing professional who loves to wear many hats. For me, writing and traveling are therapeutic. I enjoy writing about parenting, books, travel and multicultural aspects.

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