This festival marks the New Year day for people who follow the southern indian lunar calendar. In Karnataka people celebrate the festival with great fanfare; gatherings of the extended family and a sumptuous feast are de rigueur. Popular sweets include holige and kajjaya.

The day, however, begins with ritual showers (oil bath) followed by prayers, and then the eating of a specific mixture of neem buds/flowers for bitterness, raw mango for tang, tamarind juice for sourness, green chili/pepper for heat, jaggery for sweetness and a pinch of salt for saltiness.

This mixture with all six tastes, called bevu-bella, symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of different experiences (sadness, happiness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise), which should be accepted together and with equanimity.