Tamil New Year
The Tamil New Year is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu Solar Calendar. The Tamil New Year, also known as ‘Puthandu’, is commemorated with feasts in Hindu homes, with kolams adorning the front doorways. Every year in the month of Chithrai (the first month of the Hindu calendar), Tamil New Year is celebrated with tremendous excitement and zeal. The Tamil New Year, which falls on April 14th every year, is a joyous occasion for Tamils all over the world. Tamilians from all walks of life come forward to participate in this festivity. Lord Brahma (the world's Creator, according to Hindu mythology) is said to have begun creation on this day.
When is the Tamil New Year celebrated?
The Tamil calendar is based on the solar cycle and has a sixty-year cycle with twelve months in each year. After the vernal equinox, which falls on April 14th in the Gregorian calendar, the Tamil New Year is celebrated.
What is special about the Tamil New Year?
The 'Maanga Pachadi' (a delicacy made of raw mangoes, jaggery, and neem flowers), which is sweet, sour, and bitter at the same time, is the centerpiece of the Tamil New Year Festival in Tamil Nadu. This represents all of the different parts of our lives.
How is Tamil New Year Celebrated?
During the Tamil New Year celebrations, women decorate their front doors with 'kolams' (rice flower designs) and garnish the doorway with mango leaves. A spectacular vehicle festival is conducted every year on Tamil New Year in Thiruvidaimarudur, near Kumbakonam. The “Chithirai Thirunaal” commemorates the marriage of Goddess Meenakshi to Lord Sundereswarar, which takes place in the month of Chithirai. People then take a ritual bath before heading to the temple to pray for a joyful and successful New Year. The Panchangam (almanac) is read after that.