Visakhapatnam

COVID-19 threat mars Ugadi celebrations in Vizag

A couple performing puja to their new vehicle at a temple amid lockdown in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.

A couple performing puja to their new vehicle at a temple amid lockdown in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.  

People stay indoors on Telugu New Year

The complete lockdown in view of the coronavirus threat took the sheen of Ugadi celebrations in the city on Wednesday.

As all temples remained closed, vehicle buyers performed pujas on their own, in the absence of priests. Though all vehicle shops have downed their shutters now, people who bought vehicles before the lockdown hoped to perform puja on the auspicious day for Ugadi is the first festival in the Telugu almanac.

Vehicle owners and their family members were seen parking their new bikes and cars on the roads near Sri Sampath Vinayaka temple at Asilametta and perform puja as the otherwise busy stretches had no vehicular traffic in view of the lockdown.

Meanwhile, the Telugu New Year celebrations turned out to be low-key affair at households, despite all family members being home. Scarcity of neem flowers, the main ingredient for ‘Ugadi Pachadi’, at rythu bazaars and the high prices dampened the festival spirit.

Panchanga Sravanam’

There was no mass gathering for ‘Panchanga Sravanam’ (reading of almanac). However, scholars read out what is in store for different persons, based on their birth stars, for the entire year. The Ugadi greetings were remained confined to social media platforms as people wished their near and dear ones on WhatsApp.

The restrictions on the movement of vehicles and social distancing norms also robbed the festival of its charm as a majority of the people seemed to have understood the gravity of the COVID-19 threat.

The police sent WhatsApp messages urging people either to stay at home.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 1:32:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/covid-19-threat-mars-ugadi-celebrations-in-vizag/article31167768.ece

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