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(The first day of chaitra, the first month in lunar calendar)

The first day of the year according to the national calendar of Bharat, is significant both for its historical import and for the advent of bountiful nature. The day falls in the beginning of spring - Vasanta Ritu - When the Goddess of Nature gets bedecked as a divine bride.

This is celebrated as new year. There is the air of freshness in the nature as this is the spring season. In some parts of Bharat, the tender leaves of neem mixed with jaggery and offered to God as naivedya and then distributed as prasaada. The neem, extremely bitter in taste, and jaggery sweet and delicious, signify the two conflicting aspects of human life - joy and sorrow, success and failure, ecstasy and agony. This tells us that we should remain calm and balanced during success and failure, joy and sorrow and take everything as the gift of God. This in fact is the essence of yoga.

Every one goes to the Temple on the New year's day. There is Panchanga Shravanam arranged in the Temples.

Historically, the day recalls the inspiring occasion when the kings Shalivahana and Vikramaditya defeated the invading barbaric forces of Shakas from Central Asia during the 1st century A.D.

The founding of new Eras in the names of Vikrama and Shalivahana signifies the supreme importance accorded to them in the Hindu history and tradition for safeguarding the nation's freedom and sovereignty. As such, the continuing tradition of the two Eras has helped to keep aglow the spirit of national freedom in the nation's mind.

As a happy and meaningful coincidence, the founder of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ( RSS ) Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, was also born on this very day of Yugaadi of 1889.

Baisaakhi, which follows Yugaadi, is the first day of the Hindu Solar Year ( 2nd week of April ). In Punjab and certain other northern parts, it is an occasion for unbounded religious fervor and mass participation in festivities.

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