I wish you all a very happy UgAdi. If anyone doesn’t know what UgAdi festival is all about, here is a small excerpt on the same: [extracted from Wikipedia]
Ugadi (Telugu: ఉగాది, Kannada: ಯುಗಾದಿ – from ಯುಗ yuga, era + ಆದಿ ādi, beginning; the start of an era) is the new year’s day for the people of the Deccan region of India. While the people of Andhra 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.
Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as their New Year day Cheti Chand. Ugadi is celebrated on a different day every year because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March/April) and Ugadi marks the first day of the new year.
The Telugu and Kannada 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 for sweetness
* Pinch of Salt for saltiness
This mixture with all six tastes (షడ్రుచులు), called “Ugadi Pachhadi” (ఉగాది పచ్చడి) in Telugu and “Bevu-Bella”( ಬೇವು-ಬೆಲ್ಲ ) in Kannada, symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of different experiences (sadness, happiness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise) , which should be accepted together and with equanimity.
Though today is not declared as holiday in office, I have taken leave to celebrate the festival. Wish you all a very happy and prosperous year ahead.