Puthandu : Interesting and lesser known facts about Tamil New Year

 In Hinduism

Puthandu : Interesting and lesser-known facts about Tamil New Year

The people of Tamil Nadu celebrate this New Year on April 14 as per the Gregorian calendar. It is not only Tamil Nadu that the celebrations are on, but also in regions like Assam, West Bengal, Punjab and Orissa among others. In short, it is festival time for almost half of India. As we usher in the Tamil New Year, here are some lesser known facts about the festival.

  • Known as Puthandu in Tamil the Tamil New year is celebrated by Tamils in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Reunion and Mauritius.
  • Tamil New Year marks the first day of the Hindu solar calendar which follows the vernal equinox, when day and night are approximately are equal duration all over the planet because of astronomical activity.
  • On the eve of Puthandu, Kanni – which is a tray arranged with mango, banana, Jack fruit, betel leaves and arecanut gold, silver, coins or money, flowers and a mirror is placed. This is to be viewed upon waking up on the new year morning.

  • Elaborately decorative Kolams are seen on every Tamil’s doorstep as they are beleieved to bring prosperity to the household.
  • According to the legend, it was on the Tamil New Year when goddess Meenakshi tied the nuptial lock with Lord Sundereswar.
  • In Madurai, there are huge celebrations that take place in the Meenakshi Amman Temple with a huge exhibition known as the Chitterai Porutkaatchi that will be held with much fervour and joy. The celebrations attract huge crowds of people who flock together to Madurai from all its surrounding areas.
  • There is a ritual in households to read the Panchagam to find out the yearly astrological predictions on this day.
  • the Sweet and sour Mango gravy known as ‘Manga Pachadi’. The dish is made of, jaggery, salt, neem leaves or flowers, tamarind and green mangoes which encompass the 4 tastes of sweet, salty, bitter and sour. It symbolises the different experiences of life and teaches us that it is the combination of success and failures that make life interesting. And that even your worst moments can be enlivened with some food.
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