Yugadi or Ugadi
is the first day of the Hindu calendar (first day of the first month, the Chaitra).
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,
look forward on this occasion is the Obattu, a sweet prepared mostly in Karnataka
which comes in various varieties like Kai Obbattu, Bele Obbattu, Sakkare Obbattu
festival for the Kannadigas.