Ugadi is the New Year’s Day for the people of the Deccan region of India. Hindus celebrate the occasion by spring cleaning their homes, dressing in new clothes, cooking special dishes and decorating the entrance to their houses with floral drawings and mango leaves, in homage to Kartik and Ganesha.
Chandramana Ugadi is a regional legal holiday in Arunachal Pradesh, India and is widely observed by Telugu & Kannada communities around the world. Ugadi being the first day / New Year in the Hindu calendar, everyone celebrates this festival. While the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Karnataka use the term Ugadi for this festival, the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa. Hindus celebrate ugadi with greate joy by wishing each other and performing pooja and customary rituals.
For the Telugu and Kannada speaking people, Ugadi day begins with an extensive oil bath. Rangolis or Kolams are drawn in front of homes and doors and windows are decorated with a 'thorana' - mango leaves strung together. Then, it is time for the preparation of the famous ‘Ugadi Pachadi’ in Arunachal Pradesh. In Karnataka, it is the ‘Bevu Bella.’
A major event on the day is “Panchanga Sravanam” – predictions for the year. It is organized at temples and by cultural and social organizations.
Ugadi Pachadi which is distributed on the day 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. This is more popular with Kannadigas.