Ugadi or Yugadi - Kannada and Telugu New Year

Ugadi, or the Chandramana Ugadi, is the New Year in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and it is based on the Hindu lunar calendar followed in these two states of India. In 2013, the date of Ugadi is April 11. Ugadhi has its derivation from the word ‘Yugadhi’ or ‘Yugadi’ which consists of two terms ‘Yuga’ and ‘adi,’ which respectively means ‘cycle of time’ and ‘beginning’.

Ugadi 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.

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.

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.
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