Ugadi marks the advent of the Telugu New Year. The name of the festival derived from "Yuga Aadi" which means New Age. According to the Chandramana system (Shalivahana Shaka), Telugu New Year falls on Chaitra Shuddha Prathipade. It is the first day of the Lunar calender. Like any other religion, Telugu New Year celebrations also has a legend behind it. Hindu mythology says Lord Brahma, created universe on Chaitra Shuddha Prathipade. Since then, this day is celebrated as a New Year's day.
Ugadi celebrations are also blessed with Vasanth Ruthu (spring). It symbolizes new life with blooming of fresh flowers, chanting of birds and fruit laden trees. It is considered an auspicious time to venture into new projects.
People of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka begin New Year preparations a week before the festival. They clean their houses and surrounding areas whilst decorate it with mango leaves. Shopping for Ugadi gifts, new clothes and other items are done with a lot of fervor. Most of the people exchange gifts like silk saree, dhoti, pootarelullu and sweets like kaja, pala kova etc.
On the Ugadi day, people get up early in the morning, apply coconut oil to their bodies, take a head bath and wear new clothes. Then they visit nearby temple to offer prayers to God, chant mantras and listen to Panchanga Sravanam. Priests or experts forecasts new events of the year and make people aware of the coming situations.
All the family members and friends sit together for the traditional sauce called Ugadi Pachchadi. It is a mixture of the following products:
Ugadi Pachchadi signifies that life is not a smooth journey. All sorrows, happiness, success and disappointment must be given due importance. All experiences have to be treated equally as it makes us learn something new every time and prepares us for the rest. It makes us develop positive attitude towards life. People also make some resolutions and pray to God for their well-being and prosperity.