Kolam (Rangoli) design. Women decorate homes with it the day before Tamil New Year.

Tamil New Year

Tamil New Year, also known as Puthandu, is a New Year celebration that falls around April 14th on the Gregorian calendar or on the first day of Chithirai on the Tamil calendar. It is a day celebrated with friends and family 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 Tamil New Year can be traced 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 Purananuru.

According to legend, this day is also the day when Lord Indra visited the Earth to ensure that there was peaceful harmony and a state of satisfaction among his people. Another legend states that Lord Brahma created 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 women to decorate their homes with Kolam designs. This is because it is believed to be lucky to see things that will bring 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 activities on this day include visiting the temple, offering raw mangoes to various deities, and reading the Panchangam 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.

When is it?
This year (2024)
April 14 Sunday
Last year (2023)
April 14 Friday