Tamil New Year

Tamil New Year Quick Facts - IN

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

Tamil New Year

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Tamil New Year History

The Tamil New Year, also known as Puthandu, is a time to welcome the New Year with customary rituals, traditions, and festivities. This festival is marked with equal fervor by the Tamil community irrespective of their religious beliefs, emphasizing a sense of unity and community. The observance includes the decoration of houses, preparation of festive meals, and exchange of gifts. A central aspect of this celebration is the creation of beautiful, vibrant designs called Kolams at the entrance of homes, symbolizing the vibrancy and prosperity that the New Year brings.

The Tamil New Year is believed to have its origins in the Sangam Age, which dates back to 3rd century BC. The observance is closely linked with the Tamil Hindu solar calendar, followed by the people for identifying auspicious days and determining religious festivities. The festival offers an opportunity for the Tamil diaspora in India to celebrate their cultural heritage and strengthen their communal ties. It is also closely connected with agricultural activities, as it marks the beginning of the new agricultural cycle, offering prayers for a bountiful harvest ahead.

In India, the celebrations begin with the sight of the new moon the night before. Homes are cleaned, and new clothes are worn to welcome the New Year. A special festive meal known as the Maanga Pachadi is prepared, which blends six different tastes representing the diverse experiences of the year ahead. Temples across the country witness special prayers and offerings. The festivities also include cultural performances, carnivals, and processions making it an important cultural celebration in the Indian calendar. Tamil New Year is celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month of Chithirai, which typically falls around the 14th of April.

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.
  • The date of Tamil New Year is based on the solar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar. This calendar is the standard timekeeping system of ancient Tamil-speaking cultures, and its new year starts with the Sun's entry into Aries.
  • Interestingly, the Tamil New Year is celebrated one or two days after other traditional New Year's days, such as Ugadi (Kannada and Telugu New Year) and Gudi Padwa (Marathi New Year), because the Tamil calendar is set to the nirayana, or sidereal, system, while the others are set to the sayana, or tropical, system.

Top things to do in India 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.
  • Visit Temples: Tamil New Year, also known as Puthandu, is a religious celebration, so many people start their day by visiting temples. Some popular temples to visit during this time are the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, and Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur.
  • Attend Puthandu Processions and Festivals: Local cities and communities often host various processions, festivals, and events to celebrate Tamil New Year. These festivities may include traditional music, dance performances, and local food stalls.

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