Religion
The department sent a circular directing temple managements to abstain from decorations for New Year.

The Hindu Dharma Parirakshana Trust of the Andhra Pradesh endowments department has issued a notice directing temple authorities to ban the practice of New Year darshans and decorations in the temple on January 1. 

The circular stated that the temples continue to follow the ‘Christian era’ (Gregorian calendar) even after attaining independence from the English 70 years ago, reported Deccan Chronicle.

The circular said that only Ugadi, the New Year according to the Telugu calendar, should be celebrated.

In the circular, the temple managements were directed not to spend money on floral decorations or erect any banners.

Endowments department secretary Dr Chilakapati Vijaya Raghava Charyulu said, “Ugadi, the Telugu new year that is celebrated in Chaitra maasam, is in accordance with the Hindu tradition,” reported The Hindu.

Raghava said it had come to the department’s notice that the temple managements were spending lakhs of rupees on floral decorations and welcome banners for the New Year. 

“It was not appropriate to spend on the New Year revelry, which was not in accordance with the Hindu tradition, from the donations of the devotees. Hence, it is directed to follow the suggestion scrupulously,” The Hindu quoted him as saying.

He told DC, “As New Year celebrations were not Hindu Vedic culture and ‘English culture’ still prevailed in Hindu temples where devotees were wished with New Year greetings and lakhs were spent on decorations in temples, the custom had to be stopped.”

Usually, temples hold special darshans and decorate the temple to welcome the New Year. 

This year, Ugadi will be celebrated on March 18. It is a spring festival, which marks the beginning of the New Year in the Telugu calendar. The festival will be celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra.