Ugadi or Gudi Padwa is celebrated in various Indian states with lots of vigour, and the festival marks the beginning of spring. Spring is considered a very auspicious time because it signifies a fresh start and a good time to make changes in one’s life.
As with any Indian festival, the beauty is that it is celebrated differently across India. While Maharashtrians tie a gudi and savour shrikhand-puri, people in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh celebrate it as Ugadi, where bevubella (neem and jaggery) is distributed.
Bevubella is a unique paste made with six ingredients, each of which has its own unique significance to the festival. The paste consists of jaggery, neem, raw mango, pepper, salt, and tamarind juice. These six ingredients represent the six major emotions of that everyone experiences during our time on this earth.
Neem (Sadness): Neem leaves stand for the bitterness in life. Human life cannot be a bed of roses all the time, and there are always some ups and downs. One has to accept the bitterness that is part of life every once in a while, and ride the storm with grace.
Jaggery (Sweetness): Jaggery signifies the sweetness of life.No matter what life throws at you, accepting the challenges with a smile and knowing that there is always a silver lining is important
Pepper (Anger): While anger is part of the spectrum of normal human emotions, it is important to manage it constructively. A bit of anger once in a while is normal; however, too much of it can easily become self-destructive. This Ugadi, swallow your anger in the form of pepper and refresh your life.
Salt (Fear): Salt symbolises fear. While a certain amount of fear can be healthy, it is never a good option to live one’s life fearfully, because it prevents us from taking risks and exploring our full potential.
Tamarind (Disgust): The sour taste of tamarind symbolises disgust in one’s life. While, fine to a certain limit, disgust can be harmful if not controlled.
Mango (Surprise): The tangy taste of mangoes urges all of us to embrace a bit of surprise in our lives. Stay open to the beauty of adventure, which after all is what makes life exciting.
In addition to the poignant metaphorical significance of these food items, they’re also known to have considerable health benefits. Here’s the rundown on neem and jaggery:
The good old neem leaf is excellent for boosting one’s immune system. It can also play a huge role in beauty enhancement. Neem can help get rid of acne, blackheads, fine lines, dandruff, and hair fall. Having neem and warm water can help detox the body and get rid of belly fat, too. And don’t forget these benefits:
For generations, neem has been used to cure a host of skin diseases.
Because of its antibacterial effects, it is an excellent way to boost one’s immune system.
Its medicinal properties can help alleviate rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, back pain and general muscle soreness.
Naturally controls diabetes.
Helps get rid of intestinal worms and counters indigestion and constipation.
Gastritis and hyperacidity can also be cured with neem leaves.
Jaggery (gur) is made from unrefined sugar, and is the result of boiling raw, concentrated sugarcane juice until it solidifies. There are significant health benefits of jaggery. It is an excellent natural substitute for sugar, and is a better option than white sugar, which only adds empty calories to one’s diet.
Since it activates the digestive enzymes in our body, many people prefer eating jaggery after a meal to help prevent constipation and aid digestion.
Jaggery helps in naturally detoxing the body by flushing out toxins from the liver.
Jaggery is another great beauty food, since it is loaded with antioxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium, which help prevent free-radicals from making the skin look dull and aged.
It improves immunity because of the high levels of antioxidants it has.
PMS symptoms which can plague women every month – including mood swings, menstrual cramps, and abdominal pain – can be reduced by eating a piece of jaggery.
While jaggery has a host of benefits, it is imperative that it is consumed in moderation, since it is high in calories and will not help in weight loss if one is on a diet. –Suneela