The Hindu New Year is not celebrated on the first of January. The Telugus, the Kannadigas and the Maratis celebrate Ugadi or their New Year around the same time of the year.
The month of Chaitra heralds the beginning of the New Year. The Hindu calendar is based on the movement of the moon. They believe that Lord Brahma created the universe on this day. The New Year starts on the day after the new moon at the beginning of spring.
Spring signifies the beginning of new life on earth. It is considered the first season when the earth springs to life. The affluence of nature signifies growth and prosperity.
Thus, Ugadi is celebrated with a lot of colourful flowers. Temples and homes are brightly decorated.
Besides offering prayers and wearing new clothes, people also follow a specific diet on Ugadi. The Ugadi "pachchadi" is made of neem flowers, raw mangoes and sugarcane. This dish denotes that life is made up of all flavours. There is bitter and sweet embedded in our lives, and we should accept it as such.
The Telugus and the Kannadigas call this festival Ugadi. And it is known as Gudipadava in Maharashtra.