Tamil New Year in
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Tamil New Year, also known as Puthandu, is a significant annual observance for Tamils in India, Sri Lanka and among Tamil communities worldwide. This celebration promotes the values of new beginnings, reflection and communal harmony. Traditionally, the observance is marked with family gatherings, the exchange of gifts, special religious rituals, and the sharing of festive traditional meals. Important elements of the Tamil New Year observance entail displaying colourful 'kolams' (patterns made with rice powder), chalking 'Mangala Ishtikai' (happy symbols) at entrances, and feasting on 'Maanga Pachadi' (a dish symbolizes six human emotions).
Historically, Tamil New Year is based on the solar calendar, marking the first day of the traditional Tamil calendar, which aligns closely the signs of zodiac. This long standing tradition is significant to people in the European Union as it underscores multiculturalism and diversity, being a prominent celebration for the large Tamil diaspora living in several EU countries. With Europe’s commitment to respect and embrace different cultures and traditions, Tamil New Year represents not only a distinctive cultural festivity, but an opportunity to encourage intercultural dialogue and enrich multicultural understanding.
In European Union countries, Tamil New Year celebrations are often characterized by vibrant cultural events including music and dance performances, showcasing Tamil traditions. EU communities specifically mark this festivity respecting local norms, with relevant permits from authorities for public events, and conducting religious rituals in Tamil houses of worship located in many cities. Tamil New Year generally falls on April 14th, a timeline that harmonizes well with the European spring season, making it an ideal occasion for cultural exchange and mutual celebration.
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