Ugadi

Ugadi is the New Year’s Day for the people of the Telugu,and Kannada communities in India. It falls on a different day every year because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar. This holiday is one of the most auspicious days for Telugus and Kannadigas. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March–April) and Ugadi marks the first day of the new year. Chaitra is the first month in Panchanga which is the Indian calendar. In some parts of India it is known as Vikram Samvat or Bhartiya Nav Varsh. This holiday is mostly prevalent in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. Gudi Padwa, which is the Marathi new year, is also celebrated on the same day.

The festival marks the new year day for people between Vindhyas and Kaveri river who follow the South Indian lunar calendar, pervasively adhered to in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa.

The Telugu, Telangana, Kannada, Marathi, Kodava and the Konkani diaspora in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Kerala celebrate the festival with great fanfare; gatherings of the extended family and a sumptuous feast are ‘de rigueur’. The day begins with ritual showers with oil, followed by prayers. This tri-state festival could be the result of the common rulers from the Satavahana Dynasty.

While the people of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana use the term Ugadi and Karnataka use the term Yugadi/Ugadi for this festival, the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa

The Marwari of Rajasthan celebrate the same day as their new year day Thapna.The Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as Cheti Chand, which is the beginning of their calendar year.The Manipuris also celebrate their New Year as Sajibu Nongma Panba on the same day.The Hindus of Bali and Indonesia also celebrate their new year on the same day as Nyepi.

Ugadi pachchadi is a dish synonymous with Ugadi. It is made of new jaggery, raw mango pieces, neem flowers, and new tamarind which truly reflect life — a combination of six different tastes (sweet, sour, spice, salt, tangy, and bitter) symbolizing happiness, disgust, anger, fear, surprise, and sadness. Bevu-Bella in Kannada,symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of different experiences (sadness, happiness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise), which should be accepted together and with equanimity through the New Year. The eating of a specific mixture of six tastes, called Ugadi Pachhadi in Telugu. The pachadi varies in different regions.