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Tamil New Year

April 14

Tamil New Year

Tamil New Year, also known as Puthandu or Varusha Pirappu, is a significant celebration in the Tamil community marking the first day of the traditional Tamil calendar. It usually falls on April 14th or 15th, according to the Gregorian calendar.

Puthandu signifies the beginning of the Tamil solar calendar. The day is observed with enthusiasm and optimism, symbolizing new beginnings and prosperity. The customs and traditions associated with Puthandu highlight the rich cultural heritage of the Tamil community.

The day starts with the ritual of ‘Kanni,’ which means ‘auspicious sight.’ People view good omens such as gold and silver jewelry, betel leaves, nuts, fruits and vegetables, flowers, raw rice, and other items first thing in the morning. This is believed to bring positivity and prosperity throughout the year.

The Panchangam, an astrological calendar, is read by the family elder or a priest. It consists of predictions for the forthcoming year, including auspicious dates and times, celestial events, and other important information.

Homes are cleaned and decorated with ‘Kolam,’ intricate floor designs made using rice flour. A special lamp called ‘Kuthuvilakku’ is lit in the center of the Kolam to dispel darkness and bring light into the home. Mango leaves are also hung over the entrance as a sign of prosperity.

A grand feast is prepared, known as ‘Maanga Pachadi.’ This dish is a mix of six different tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, salty, spicy, and tangy, symbolizing the various experiences in life.

Devotees visit temples to offer prayers and seek blessings for the New Year. Special prayers, rituals, and events are conducted in temples.
It is also customary for elderly family members to give tokens of money to the younger ones. This tradition, known as ‘Kai Vishesham,’ symbolizes sharing of wealth and blessings.

The Tamil New Year is not just celebrated in India but also observed by the Tamil diaspora worldwide. The day is filled with cultural performances, music, dance, and community feasts, fostering a sense of community and cultural identity.


April 14
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