All you need to know about : Puthandu - Tamil New Year

Puthandu – Tamil New Year

Month of chitterai, the first month of the Tamil Solar calendar is celebrated as Tamil New year famously known as Puthandu. It is believed that on this auspicious day, Lord Brahma began his creation, therefore it is considered to be very pious and religious event. The Tamil New Year follows the Nirayanam vernal equinox and generally falls on 14 April of the Gregorian year.The day is Chithirai 1 as per the Tamil calender.

  • Tamilians greet each other by saying ‘Puttantu valttukkal’, meaning happy new year. On the eve of Puthandu, a tray with 3 different fruits such as mango, banana and jackfruit along with other necessary ingredients is prepared.
  • Meenakshiamman Temple : Every year,starting on this day, in the temple city of Madurai, the Chitterai Thiruvizha is celebrated in the Meenakshiamman Temple.
  • Arpudu : ‘Arpudu’ is the event which symbolises the first ploughing of the ground for the preparation of fresh agricultural land.
  • Por thenkai : The game of ‘Por Thenkai’, also known as coconut wars between the youngsters is played in villages through out Tamil Nadu.
  • Mangai – Pachadi : The festival is marked by a grand feast with ‘Mangai – Pachadi’ being the main dish. It is prepared from a variety of flavour. Jaggery, raw mango, bitter neem and various spices form the constitute of this special delicacy.
  • Porutkatchi : Huge exhibitions and fairs are held during the occasion of puthandu, known as ‘chitterai Porutkaatchi’.
  • panchangam : Reading of Panchangam or the almanac is another specific feature of this festival. This traditional activity is performed where everyone sit together and the elderly person reads out about the ensuring year.

Sri Lankan Tamils observe the day with the first financial transaction known as the ‘Kai-vishesham’ where elders gift money to the unmarried young, particularly children as a token of good luck.