In Karnataka, Ugadi festival being celebrated today. Ugadi symbolises the beginning of the New Year as per the Hindu calendar. Ugadi falls on the first day of Chaitra, which is the first month in the traditional Hindu calendar. It is the time of the year that heralds in the spring season. On the special day, people wake up before sunrise and take a ceremonial oil-bath. The entrance of temples, homes and shops are decorated with flowers and mango leaves.
Colourful rangolis in front of the houses is a common practice on this day. An important aspect of the occasion is the ‘Panchanga Shravana’ or hearing of the Panchanga. It is read by the priests at the temples or by the eldest member of the family at home. On this day, based on the moon sign, predictions and annual forecasts for the New Year are also made by the learned pandits and astrologers. Prayers are offered to the Sun God before consuming ‘Bevu Bella’, a dish that holds much significance in Ugadi celebrations. Bevu means neem and bella is jaggery. The mix of neem flower and jiggery is a symbolic dish that signifies the essence of life that comprises both bitterness and sweetness which needs to be faced bravely.