Tamil New Year

Tamil New Year Quick Facts - US

AKA NameTamil Puthandu, Puthuvarusham
HashtagsCompiled on#TamilNewYear
Related Hashtags#TheGreatestOfAllTime, #Puthandu
2024 DateApril 14, 2024
2025 DateApril 14, 2025

Tamil New Year

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Tamil New Year History

Tamil New Year, also known as Puthandu, marks the start of a new year for the Tamil people, an ethnic group originating from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It bears immense cultural and traditional importance, embodying themes of renewal, prosperity and the ushering in of new beginnings. The Observance includes several vibrant rituals, such as house cleaning, adorning homes with colorful Kolams (decorative patterns made with rice flour), wearing new clothes, and preparing a grand feast.

The arrival of Tamil New Year, a major festival among the Tamil diaspora in America, is believed to date back to the Sangam period, around 300 BC. Traditionally, it marks the first day of the Tamil month Chithirai, which usually falls in mid-April. It's not just a religious event but also a social and cultural one, largely marked by family gatherings and community events. Additionally, Tamil Americans further engage with their roots and foster community bonds through traditional music, dance and theatrical performances, and educational activities about Tamil culture and history.

In America, Tamil New Year is largely observed by community gatherings organized by Tamil associations, where they carry out rituals, traditional music, dance, and feasts, introducing the rich Tamil culture to the wider American society. Tamil classes for children and adults are often held, along with games and competitions. Despite the occasions being celebrated largely in mid-April, specific dates may sometimes vary according to the American time zone in relation to the Tamil calendar. Despite the distance from their homeland, Tamil Americans celebrate Puthandu with immense joy and enthusiasm, ensuring that their rich culture and traditions are passed on to the next generations and also shared with the broader American community.A

Facts about Tamil New Year

  • A ritual called Kanni is performed on morning of Puthandu. The Pooja room is decorated with a large mirror as well as with trays holding different assortments. These include signs of prosperity like fruit, flowers, and jewelry. An altar is lit and then families usually visit their local temple.
  • Neem flowers and fresh mangoes, which are in full bloom during this season are believed to be a sign of prosperity. They are used to prepare Maanga Pachadi - a New Year's Eve dish which is sweet, sour and bitter to signify different aspects of life.
  • Many people in Tamil Nadu also celebrate Puthandu as the day when Lord Brahma, the Hindu God of Creation, started creation.

Top things to do in the US for Tamil New Year

  • Make your own Kolam. Kolams are South Indian decorative designs traditionally drawn on the doorsteps of homes. They are thought to bring prosperity. Kolams are made with materials such as rice flour, chalk, chalk powder and rock powder. Take a look at these examples.
  • Watch the 1992 movie Thevar Magan. It is a story about Sakthivel, a Tamil man who goes back to India after receiving his education in London. His aspirations are to open a restaurant chain. However, his father, the village chieftain, wants him to help the town people.

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