People ushered in Ugadi, the Telugu New Year Day, known as Nandana Nama Samvatsara Ugadi this year, with gaiety. The day saw many ‘Panchagam' reading sessions by Agama pundits at various functions organised in the capital.
From Friday morning, the local markets were abuzz with activity with the sale of mango leaves, fruits, flowers, neem flowers and sugarcane and other traditional items required for the puja. Homes were decked up with mango leaves, garlands and neem leaves.
Women prepared the traditional Ugadi Pacchadi, a mixture of neem buds, mango, tamarind, jaggery and salt, and offered it to guests. Symbolically, Ugadi Pacchadi represents the bitter and sweet experiences of life.
The day also started with people thronging local temples before the start of the Telugu New Year. Many people also travelled to the temples in Tirumala, Srisailam and the Kanakadurga shrine in Vijayawada.
The official Ugadi function of the State government was organised at Ravindra Bharathi where top Agama pundits read out the Panchangam (almanac) for the coming year. Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and other Ministers participated in the celebrations. Eminent persons from various walks of life received Ugadi Puraskarams.