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Yugadi - Kannada and Telugu New Year in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh

Yugadi (yuga and adi) means beginning of new age. It is believed that Lord Brahma started the creation process on this day. Yugadi 2017,  the Telugu and Kannada New Year, falls on March 29, 2017. It is also the first day of Chaitra, the first month of the Hindu calendar and ushers in the spring season.

Ugadi or Yugadi is the first day of the Chaitra month in the Hindu lunar calendar of Kannadigas and Telugu people. This beginning of the year is also locally referred as Chandramana Varsha Thodakuu and Vatsara Aramba. Today, Ugadi is celebrated around the world, thanks to Telugu and Kannada speaking people who have migrated to different countries.

It is believed that Lord Brahma started the creation process on this day.

Since the Telugu and Kannada New Year is based on the lunar calendar there is usually some confusion regarding the exact date in some years.

Ugadi marks the beginning of spring or the Vasant Ritu. Farmers wait for the first showers after the New Year to plough and begin the next cycle of farming. The festival celebrates nature’s regeneration. All trees begin to sprout tender leaves. The markets are flooded with different types of fruits. And most importantly Neem trees begin to blossom.

On the Ugadi day, people wake up early in the morning and have a traditional oil bath. Rangolis or Kolams are drawn in front of homes and doors and windows are decorated with a 'thorana' - mango leaves strung together. The important puja on the day is the Panchanga Puja.

Neem plays and important part in Ugadi. It is an important ingredient in the Ugadi pachadi prepared on the day. It is also known as Bevu Bella. 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.

Ugadi is also considered to be the ideal time to start new ventures. And an important event on the day is the listening to Panchangam, which is known as Ugadi Panchanga Shravanam.

On the same day, the Maharashtrians celebrate Gudi Padwa.

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