14 April 2009

Tamil New Year

Happy Tamil New Year to one and all. Today is Puthandu -- Tamil New Year, which is traditionally celebrated each year on April 13th or 14th (depending on the calendar) by people of Tamil Nadu, and Tamil people throughout the world.

On this day people greet each other, "Puthandu Vaz" -- which means Happy New Year. This auspicious day is also popular as Varusha Pirappuv. As per the Hindu mythical legend, it is on this day that Lord Brahma started to create the Universe.

By way of celebration the main focus is on food eaten on this day. 'Maanga Pachadi,' -- the pulse of the Festival, is a dish made of raw mangoes, jaggery and neem flowers which tastes; sweet, salty, sour and bitter. This symbolises the different conditions one has to face in one's life.

In Tamil Nadu people follow certain rituals to ensure well-being and prosperity of their families. The most popular tradition is to view 'Kanni', at dawn with a hope to bring good luck. Thus people start the day by looking at auspicious items such as gold, silver, jewellery, betel leaves, nut, fruits, vegetables, flowers, raw rice and coconuts.

Photograph of the real 'Kanni'
(taken at 7 a.m. today)

Following this ritual one takes a bath, puts on fresh clothes and visits Temples to pray for success in life. Traditionally after this, the Panchangam (almanac) is read. People exchange gifts with each other and children are highly excited at this time as they receive gifts and money from parents and relatives.

Many prepare for this Festival by painting their homes in order to symbolise the renewal of life. The house is also adorned with fresh mango leaves and kolam (chalk or painted floor designs). Sometimes a decorated lamp, 'Kuthuvillakku,' is placed in the centre of a colourful kolam to bring light to the home.

Wishing one and all a


Veronica said...

Happy New Year to you Meenakshi Ammal. Thanks for this great site - Arunachala Grace.

Divya said...

Happy New Year Ammal!

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Happy New Year to you too Divya - but in your case I am wishing you a Happy Telegu New Year.