Tamil New Year
Tamil New Year (better known as Puthandu or Varusha pirappu in the South), is celebrated on the first day of the Tamil new year in Chithirai Tamil month which normally falls on April 13th or 14th every year. The focus is a prayer of thanks to the gods and prosperity throughout the year. On this day, Tamilians greet each other by saying "Puttantu vattukka”. Puthandu or Tamil New Year celebration of the New Year is mainly observed by the people in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu in India. Tamils in Mauritius, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Malaysia to observe this day with enthusiasm and fanfare.
It is believed that Bhagwan Brahma, the God of creation, started creating the world on this special particular event. Special Kolams (Rangoli) are drawn outside the main door, and people dress up in new dresses, feast, exchange greetings and offer prayers at shrines. Tamil New Year is the day to give an auspicious start to the upcoming year. Fresh fruits, clean rice, vegetables, mango, areca nuts, banana, jackfruit and coconuts are kept in a decorated thali in front of the gods. The day is also associated with the harvesting and farmers pray for rainfall and good harvest. This special festival is also celebrated in many other parts of the country.
Tamil New Year Festival Dates:
Tamil New Year Festival Date 2017-14 April
Tamil New Year Festival Date 2018-14 April
Tamil New Year Festival Date 2019-14 April
Tamil New Year Festival Date 2020-13 April
Tamil New Year Festival Date 2021-14 April
Tamil New Year Festival Date 2022-14 April
In Madurai, the Chitterai Thiruvizha is celebrated in the Meenakshi Temple. A huge exhibition is also held, called Chitterai Porutkaatchi. In specific parts of Southern Tamil Nadu, Chitterai Porutkaatchi is also referred as Chittirai Vishu. This holy festival is marked with a feast in Tamil homes. This day is celebrated by some communities with raw mangoes and neem flowers to symbolize growth and prosperity. Tamilians feast on dishes like Vada and payasam (Kheer). The special dish of Tamil New Year is 'mango Pachidi' made with jaggery, mango, salt, green chilli, neem flowers and tamarind juice representing the 6 main emotions of human beings that we experience.
Hindus believe that offering special prayers to Hindu deities on this special event brings them prosperity. Endless queues of followers visits temples, especially temples such as the Manakkula Vinayagar Temple in Puducherry, Meenakshi temple in Madurai, Kapaleeswrar temple & Sri Parthasarathy in Chennai, etc. Cultural processions are also held at several places with a variety of dances and traditional songs. Fireworks are also organized to mark the special occasion.
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