Yugadi (yuga and adi) means beginning of new age. It is believed that Lord Brahma started the creation process on this day. Yugadi 2016, the Telugu and Kannada New Year, falls on
April 8, 2016. It is also the first day of Chaitra, the first month of the Hindu calendar and ushers in the spring season.
For the Telugu and Kannada speaking people, Ugadi day begins with an extensive oil bath. Then, it is time for the preparation of the famous ‘Ugadi Pachadi’ in Andhra Pradesh. In Karnataka, it is the ‘bevu bella.’
Ugadi Pachadi is a unique dish with a mixture of six tastes ranging from sweet to bitter. It comprises of jaggery, raw mango, tamarind, neem flowers, salt and green chilli. This is the first dish that people have on Ugadi day. Ugadi Pachadi has an important symbolic meaning that life brings different experiences ranging from sweet to bitter. Therefore each individual should learn to take the different experiences in one's stride and move ahead.
Instead of the Ugadi Pachadi, in some places people serve jaggery mixed with neem leaves. The bitter taste of neem leaves and the sweet of jaggery symbolize joy and sorrow in life. In Kannada speaking world, this mixture of neem leaves and jaggery is known as ‘bevu bella.’
Another important event on the day is “Panchanga Sravanam” – predictions for the year. It is organized at temples and by cultural and social organizations.
On the same day, the Maharashtrians celebrate Gudi Padwa.