In Mauritius, Ugadi, the Telegu New Year festival, is celebrated by the Telegu residents of the country. The exact date of the holiday varies, as it is based on astrological observances, but it will come each year some time in March/April.
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Ugadi is a time to prepare great family meals, make many prayers, attend cultural events, and give out sweets to friends and family. As the beginning of a new year, it is also a time to reflect on one’s past and make commitments to live better in the future.
The legend of Ugadi says that Brahma, held to be the god of all the universe, came into existence on this day. It is also believed to be the death-date of Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu. The death of Krishna is held as the beginning of a new era and as the beginning of the Salivahana Empire in India back in A.D. 78.
There are many religious customs attached to Ugadi, including bathing one’s head in coconut oil and adorning one’s home with mango leaves that hail from India. But local Mauritian music, food, and culture is now also a part of the celebration of Ugadi in Mauritius. Many will also attend temples or follow mantras repeated on TV.