If you are happy on Ugadi, you'll be happy rest of whole year! And if you are sad, you will be definitely be sad the whole year! Even now many people believe that.
So everyone tries to be happy just for this day, at least. And it's really scary that if you are n't happy on Ugadi, you will be miserable for whole year!
Many people are experts at trying to be happy, rather than being happy. That's even more true that people try very hard not to be unhappy. The bottomline is many are scared of being miserable. Whatever outward expression may be, internally they are more unbalanced, desperate to be happy and prone to be unhappy.
Many are more unbalanced today because, everyone is curious about what prediction says about their next year, and that means they obviously don't believe in their own efforts. Or they feel a need to validated, inspite or on top of their efforts.
In most of the temples, on Ugadi day the priest reads out from panchangam for all belong to respective raasi, about their income, expense, respect, or otherwise in society. And no body notices that all they read are so generic that that can be applicable to anyone anywhere around the globe.
People may find it's all farce, but they got used to the ritual, and they don't want to think and instead want to believe it all the more.