Coronavirus lockdown: Ugadi celebrations remain a low-key affair

Amid the coronavirus scare and national lockdown, people were forced to celebrate Ugadi in their homes, away from relatives and friends

The lockdown imposed in the wake of coronavirus outbreak dampened the celebrations of Ugadi festival. Ugadi is celebrated to usher in the New Year by people in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. 

Most celebrated the festival in a simple way within their homes

While festivals are best enjoyed with family and friends, the lockdown forced people to keep it a low-key affair

“Generally, Ugadi is celebrated in large groups with family and friends. However, because of the lockdown, we are celebrating it only with our immediate family members. The usual hype around the festival is missing. At the same time, we are worried about the prevailing situation. It doesn’t feel like a festival day,” said 27-year-old Jithendra Prasad M from Bengaluru.

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Following a sharp increase in coronavirus cases in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days

Missing out on delicacies  

People faced difficulty in buying ingredients required to make delicacies for the festival. Roshni Balaji from Bengaluru says that a dish called Bevu-Bella is made as part of the celebrations. Bevu-Bella is made from six ingredients — raw mango, salt, neem leaves, jaggery, and green chilli — believed to signify different tastes of life and human emotions. 

However, the dish-making tradition had to be skipped due to lack of availability of ingredients in the market. “We couldn’t make the dish since we could not get raw mangoes from the market. Overall, the festive mood was dim. But, it was necessary to tone it down and be responsible citizens,” Roshni said.

Praveen Kumar from Bengaluru said one of the major highlights of the festival is the previous day when everyone is out on roads shopping for new clothes and buying necessities, with family and friends. This was however not possible this time due to the lockdown.

Praveen added that the grim situation over the virus outbreak across the world discourages people to celebrate the festival in a happy manner.

While people managed to get flowers and fruits for the puja, delicacies had to be sacrificed due to the lockdown. Most festivals have their own special delicacies. The main Ugadi dish named ‘Holige’ had to be skipped at RT Nagar resident Pavana Praveen’s household due to non-availability of ingredients. 

People across different states took to Twitter and other social media platforms to greet each other. Some people had to be content with puja alone and missed out on the larger festive fervour.

With initiatives such as staying at home and maintaining social distance, one hopes Ugadi brings safety and health for everyone. 

(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)


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