Tamil New Year, also known as Puthandu, is a New Year celebration which falls around April 14th on the Gregorian calendar or on the Tamil calendar-on the first day of Chitterai. It is a day celebrated with friends and families and centers around huge vegetarian feasts and colorful rituals. It is considered a lucky and auspicious day for all involved.
History of Tamil New Year
The history of the Tamil New Year can be traced all the way back to the 3rd century. This is when the author of Nedunalvaadai, Nakkirar, described the sun moving through the eleven signs of the Zodiac on that day. He also attributed this day to the start of the New Year in the Purannanooru.
According to legend, this day is also the first day when Lord Indra visited the Earth to make sure that there was a peaceful harmony and a state of satisfaction among his people. Another legend stated that Lord Brahma created all of the universe on this day.
Tamil New Year Customs & Celebrations
Traditionally, one of the first things that is done, usually the day before the actual holiday, is for the women to decorate all of the homes with Kolam designs. This is because it is believed that it is lucky to see things that will bring you success first thing in the day. It is also common for people to take herbal baths on this day and to purchase and wear new clothing. Other things that are done on this day include a visit to the temple, the offering of raw mangoes to various deities and Panchangam is read aloud. There is also a vegetarian feast which includes an assortment of foods such as mangoes, neem leaves, Veppam Poo Rasam, Fried Appalam, Tamarind and coconut milk.