It is time to put the “sweet” and “bitter” memories of the last year behind and usher in a new one. Ugadi – the New Year according to the Hindu Lunar calendar, will be celebrated with fervour across the State on Thursday.

Ugadi also symbolises the beginning of the “Chaitra maasa”, and is the celebration of nature and the dawn of the spring season.

Families are gearing up to put up the “torana” made up of mango and neem leaves on their doors to mark the festival, which is also famous for the special way in which the New Year is ushered in — by eating a mixture of “bevu-bella” (neem and jaggery). This is to symbolise that both happy and sad times should be dealt with the same spirit.

Rajalaksmi Murthy’s family celebrates the festival in a big way. Apart from buying new clothes for the day, the family follows most rituals typical of the festival. “First we all take oil bath, then perform puja. After that, the men of the family read the ‘panchanga’, telling us how the immediate future looks like,” she explained.

Ugadi is also the time to indulge in some traditional delicacies. Usually, chitrana, shavge or gasgase payasa and holige (lemon rice and sweet dishes) are made.