Ugadi is New Year for the people of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. A new style of Rangoli has come up and it called the “Sanskar Bharti” Style of Rangoli. It is very popular in Maharashtra. It consists of beautiful patterns filled with vibrant colours. Yugadi comes from yuga + aadi, yuga means era, aadi means start. Yugadi is the start of an era or the new year, for the people of the Deccan region of India. The people of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh use the term Yugadi/Ugadhi; whereas the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, as Gudi Padva, which is observed on the same day. It marks the onset of spring, new life and a new beginning filled with Hope. It is also considered to be an auspicious day to start any new venture.
Sindhis also celebrate their New Year day, on the same day, as Cheti Chand. Ugadi falls on a different day every year because the Indian calendar is a lunisolar calendar. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March/April) and Yugadi marks the first day of the new year.
As usual in India the Festivals are incomplete without Rangoli Designs.Ugadi marks the beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar with a change in the moon’s orbit. It is a day when mantras are chanted and predictions made for the new year. Traditionally, the panchangasravanam or listening to the yearly calendar was done at the temples or at the Town square but with the onset of modern technology, one can get to hear the priest-scholar on television sets right in one’s living room.
The Kannada and Telugu people celebrate the festival with great fanfare; gatherings of the extended family and a sumptuous feast are ‘de rigueur’. The day, however, begins with ritual showers (oil bath) followed by prayers, and then the eating of a specific mixture of
• Neem Buds/Flowers for bitterness
• Raw Mango for tang
• Tamarind Juice for sourness
• Green Chilli/Pepper for heat
• Jaggery and ripe banana pieces for sweetness
• Pinch of Salt for saltiness
This mixture called prasadam (Bevu Balla), symbolises that life is offer you both bitterness and sweet. One should learn to take them both in equally strides.