‘Yuga’ meaning ‘era’, and ‘aadi’ means ‘the beginning’. so the begining of the new era that’s Ugadi.
It is believed that it was on this day that Lord Brahma gave shape to the entire universe, including earth and the life which sustains within. That’s why Ugadi is the official New Year for people of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
However, its celebrations are not just limited to these two states but extend to other states as well: Maharashtra, Punjab, Bengal, Assam, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and the Sindh province of Pakistan, though it goes by different names. Ugadi falls on different dates each year, but always in either the month of March or April.
It’s also the time when winter is on its way out, and spring’s round the corner, so the concept of new life and a new year is really very appropriate for Ugadi festival. In Karnataka and also in some parts of the country, the tender leaves of neem mixed with jaggery are distributed on the occasion. The neem, extremely bitter in taste, and jaggery sweet and delicious, signify the two conflicting aspects of human life – joy and sorrow, called as ‘Bevu-Bella’ (a mixture of neem and jaggery in equal measure). This denotes the acceptance by man of all the sweet (jaggery) and bitter (neem) things that are in store for him in the coming year, with gratitude.