Upakarma in Sanskrit means the beginning. It is a vedic ritual mostly practiced by the Brahmins in the southern part of India. The Kshatriyas and the Vaishyas also perform this ritual. Upakarma is observed once every year during the Shravana month. It is the auspicious day when the Brahmins change their Yajnapavit or their Upanayana thread accompanied by the chanting of the mantras or the Srauta rituals. This is followed by the entire Rig, Yajur and the Sama vedic Brahmins. The next day of this observance is noted as Gayatri Japa Sankalpam. The Upakarma is conducted as mentioned earlier in the Shravana month as per traditional Hindu calendar under the Dhanistha or the Avittam nakshatra. This is also known as Avani Avittam in Tamil Nadu. In 2017, the day for the Rigveda Upakarma is July 28th, a Friday.