Puthandu 2022: First day of the Auspicious Tamil New Year
On April 14, the Tamil people celebrate their New Year’s Day. Puthandu is the Tamil word for New Year’s Day. Varsha Pirappu is another name for Puthandu. The members of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and elsewhere throughout the world celebrate this festival. Puthandu heralds the start of the spring season. The first day of the Tamil month, Chithirai is Tamil New Year. This day in the Tamil solar calendar coincides with the Hindu lunisolar calendar. It’s worth noting that Puthandu always falls on the same day. Notably, many other Indian communities, like Tamilians across the world, celebrate their traditional new year around the same day. For instance, Vishu in Kerala, Bihu in Assam, Baishakhi in Punjab, and Pohela Boishakh in West Bengal.
History of Tamil New Year
Many people believe that on the day of Puthandu, Lord Brahma began the creation of the cosmos. In early Tamil literature, there are multiple references for celebrating the Tamil New Year in the month of April. According to Nakkirar, an author, the sun moves from Mesha or Chitterai vai 11 indications of the zodiac. Another scholar, Kudulur Kizhaar, saw the Mesh Rashi or Aries zodiac sign as the start of a new and fresh year.
Even though Puthandu is not a primarily religious event, it has religious importance since many people think that Lord Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, created the cosmos on Puthandu. Many Tamilians believe that Lord Indra, the Prince of Harmony, arrived on Earth on this day to confirm the planet’s peace and tranquillity.
Celebrations of Puthandu
Tamil ladies beautify their homes with ‘Kolam’ a day before Puthandu to welcome joy and wealth into their homes. Another typical tradition noticed and performed by many Tamil families is cleaning the house the day before or on Puthandu and setting up a tray laden with fruits, flowers, and other auspicious items. Many individuals also use herbal baths to completely clean themselves. Specifically, turmeric baths are popular among Tamil ladies.
People dress up in new clothes, greet one other with ‘Puthandu Nalvazthukal,’ and seek blessings from the family elders. Puthandu also has a tradition of singing devotionals and cooking Pongal. The celebration is also known as ‘Chittirai Vishu’ in some regions of Tamil Nadu. Three fruits — mango, jackfruit, and banana — money in the form of cash, gold or silver jewellery, a mirror, flowers, betel leaves, and areca nut are included in the prayer offering.
Mangai-pachadi, prepared with raw mango, sweet jaggery, red chillies, neem leaves, and astringent mustard, is one of the menu’s standouts. According to Tamil tradition, these flavours represent the many aspects of life and highlight that one must be prepared to confront all sorts of events, whether bitter or sweet, with serenity.
Wish you a happy and prosperous Tamil New Year
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