Puthandu or Tamil New Year’s Day is celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month of Chitterai. As per the Gregorian calendar, Puthandu will be celebrated in year 2020 on the 14th of April. Tamil New Year’s Day is mainly celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu and in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Singapore, among others.
As per the tradition and Tamil solar calendar, if the Sankranti happens after sunrise and before sunset, the day is considered as the New Year’s Day. If the Sankranti occurs after sunset, the next day is celebrated as Puthandu.
When is Tamil New Year in 2020 Celebrated?
|Tuesday, 14 April 2020||Tamil New Year||Tamil Nadu|
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Customs and traditions of Tamil New Year’s Day
Just before the day of Puthandu, women decorate the house with Kolam to welcome prosperity and joy. Cleaning the house on the day before or on Puthandu and setting up a tray filled with fruits, flowers, and other items that are considered auspicious are a common practice. People take herbal baths to cleanse themselves so as to start afresh on New Year’s Day. Turmeric baths are common among women.
People dress up in traditional attire, greet each other and offer prayers in local temples. Aarti rituals and lighting the “saambrani” forms an integral part of the ritual. Divine songs and traditional instruments are played in households to observe the occasion. Pongal, a special rice dish, is offered to the Gods.
Car festival is held at Tiruvidaimarudur while other events are organised at Tiruchirapalli and Kanchipuram, among other places. Families enjoy a special feast together that consists of a special dish called “Mangai-pachadi”. The dish is quite similar to that of “Pacchadi”, which is a common sweet delicacy prepared during Ugadi and Vishu. It’s a mixture of different ingredients, including jaggery, sour raw mango, astringent mustard, bitter neem, and red chilies. As per the Tamil tradition, it’s believed that these flavours reflect the various facets of life and champions the fact that one must be prepared to face all types of situations, whether bitter or sweet, with calmness. A variety of vegetarian dishes are also prepared on this day.
Another integral part of the custom is reading “Panchangam”. The reading is usually done by the oldest member of the family.
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Tamil New Year 2021-2025
|Wednesday, 14 April 2021||Tamil New Year||Tamil Nadu|
|Thursday, 14 April 2022||Tamil New Year||Tamil Nadu|
|Friday, 14 April 2023||Tamil New Year||Tamil Nadu|
|Sunday, 14 April 2024||Tamil New Year||Tamil Nadu|
|Monday, 14 April 2025||Tamil New Year||Tamil Nadu|
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Importance Of Puthandu Or Tamil New Year
Like mentioned in the earlier section, Puthandu represents the commencement of Chatterai, which is the very first day of the New Year. It is considered to be a precocious day for the people in the state. A few Tamilian communities believe that Lord Indra, the Price of Harmony, came to the earth on this day to verify peace and serenity. It is also believed that Lord Brahma began the establishment of his world. Tamil New Year is observed as the best day to initiate new things not only in Tamil Nadu but also in southern Indian states.
Puthandu is observed almost on the same day every year even in Sri Lanka. There have been many references to this renowned festival. Nakkirar, an author, stated that the sun moves from Mesha or Chitterai vai 11 signals of the zodiac. Kudulur Kizhaar considered the Mesh Rashi as the beginning of a fresh year.
The people eat a vegetarian food on the festival day. The food consists of Mango Pachadi, which is a blend of chillies, jiggery, neem leaves, flowers, salt and tamarind; payasam, puruppu vadai, appalam, Aviyal, fried appalam, coconut milk, curd, veppam poo rasam etc.
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