Ugadi Festival, India

Both Sanskrit and Kannada words, Yuga and Adi, are used in the word Ugadi, meaning age and beginning respectively. The celebration takes place in Karnataka at the beginning of the year. On this day, also called Chandramana Ugadi, the New Year begins according to the Hindu lunar calendar, usually in March or April (according to the Gregorian calendar).

The auspicious day includes religious observances as well as customers. Shoppers tend to spend a lot of money in the months preceding Chaitra (the first month of the Hindu calendar). It is considered the herald of the harvest season and is celebrated with excitement. Along with the legend concerning Brahma, Ugadi is associated with a number of others. This day is celebrated to mark the beginning of creation by Lord Brahma, and Ugadi is also considered to mark the beginning of the Kalyug era which is currently taking place. A Hindu religious text refers to it as Chaitra Suddha Paadyami. Interestingly, the festival of Ugadi also marks the onset of the harvest season. On this day, it is also considered auspicious to begin a new business venture. The religious observances are said to bring spiritual prosperity, wealth, and good luck to believers when they are carried out after executing a business transaction.

Every member of the family attends the first reading of Panchanga, the new Hindu almanac. It is believed that those who listen to and read the Panchanga are blessed with special blessings. New clothes should be given as gifts of gratitude to the temple priest or to whoever is reading the Panchanga. Gudi Padwa, or Maharashtra's New Year, also features the worship of the "Indra Dhwaja", which brings rain. Mango and neem leaves and red earth are used as decorations on the front door. Rangoli is also used to decorate the entrance, although colored powder can also be used to fill in the outlined figure.

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