The Hindu Calender is divided into 12 Months which are called Maasas.They are Chaitra, Vaishaka, Jyestha, Aashada, Shravana, Bhadrapada, Ashvija, Karthika, Margashira, Pushya, Maagha and Phalguna.
Today is an auspicious day for us, as it is the first day of the Chaitra Maasa, and thus the beginning of the New Year. We celebrate this day as Ugadi (or Yugadi). In Sansksrit, Yuga means an Era and Adi means the beginning.
It is also celebrated as Gudi-Padva in Maharastra.
As a young kid, I remember exchanging Bevu-Bella (Neem and Jaggery) with our neighbors. This significance of this is that life presents us with both bitter and sweet experiences and we should learn to treat both of them with equal measure.
Wishing all the readers a very Happy Ugadi / Gudi-Padva!