Ugadi , the word is derived from Yuga+Aadi, yuga is era, aadi means start, the start of an era is the new year's day for the people of the Deccan region of India. While the people of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh use the term Ugadi for this festival, the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa. Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as their New Year day Cheti Chand.
Ugadi is celebrated on a different day every year because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March/April) and Ugadi marks the first day of the new year.
Observance in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh :
The Kannada and Telugu people celebrate the festival with great fanfare; gatherings of the extended family and a sumptuous feast are de rigueur. 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 Chilli/Pepper for heat Jaggery for sweetness Pinch of Salt for saltiness This mixture with all six tastes called "Ugadi Pachhadi" in Telugu and "Bevu-Bella" in Kannada 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.
Later, people traditionally gather to listen to the recitation of the religious almanac(Panchangam) of the coming year, and to the general forecast of the year to come. This is the Panchanga Sravanam, an informal social function where an elderly and respected person refers to the new almanac pertaining to the coming year and makes a general benediction to all present.Ugadi celebrations are marked by literary discussions, poetry recitations and recognition of authors of literary works through awards and cultural programs. Recitals of classical Karnatik music and dance are held in the evenings.
source : wikipedia.