Tamil New Year

Tamil New Year Quick Facts - EU

AKA NameTamil Puthandu, Puthuvarusham
HashtagsCompiled on#TamilNewYear, #TamilNewYear2024
Related Hashtags#TheGreatestOfAllTime, #Puthandu
2024 Date14 April 2024
2025 Date14 April 2025

Tamil New Year

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Tamil New Year History

Tamil New Year, also known as Puthandu, 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.

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.
  • European Union acknowledges the importance of Tamil community - in 2018, the European Parliament hosted an event dedicated to the Tamil New Year for the first time in history. Thus, despite not being an official holiday, it has recognized cultural significance in the EU.
  • Tamil New Year is also an opportunity for Tamil people in the EU to raise awareness about their culture and traditions among Europeans. They conduct exhibitions, workshops, and seminars showcasing the richness of Tamil culture and its deep-rooted history.

Top things to do in the EU 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.
  • Attend Puthandu Parties or Gatherings: Some Tamil community associations organize parties or gatherings where families can come together to celebrate the New Year with traditional games, food, and music.
  • Celebrate Tamil New Year in Germany: In cities like Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg, Tamil Sangams and other Indian organizations arrange Poojas, followed by traditional Tamil feast and cultural programs.

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