HYDERABAD: The total lockdown announced by the Prime Minister resulted in scaled-down celebration of the Telugu New Year, Ugadi, on Wednesday. However, traditional fervour won over health concerns early in the morning, as people could be seen thronging many of the markets in Hyderabad and Vijayawada. Similar scenes were also reported from other parts of the two states.

Ugadi, the Telugu New Year is one of the important festivals for Telugus all over the world and people in the states of Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. It is celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervor as people look forward to enjoying a brand new year.

However, people began returning to their homes immediately after making essential purchases such as bananas, jaggery, neem plant flower, sugarcane, coconut, sugar and raw mango - ingredients in the Ugadi chutney. The ingredients denote the different emotions that people encounter during the course of the year.

Some of the people were clearly unhappy over the restrictions on movement on the Telugu New Year, and felt adequate arrangements could have been made to home-deliver the festival essentials.

With restrictions on public gatherings, even the traditional almanac reading ceremony organised by the two state governments were also low-key affairs. Divya, a youngster in Hyderabad's Dilsukhnagar was disappointed with the restrictions but said she understood the importance of lockdown. By 11 a.m., many of the streets wore a deserted look as people began to return to lockdown mode.

Both the states have been taking precautions to contain the spread of COVID-19. Till now, Andhra Pradesh has reported 8 positive cases, while Telangana has reported 37 corona positive cases, of whom, one has been cured. (IANS)

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