Tamilians across the globe celebrate Puthandu or Varusha Pirappu on the first day of the Tamil new year which is the first day of the month of ‘Chitteari’. As per the Hindu solar calendar, Tamil New Year or Puthandu is on Saturday, April 14, 2018. People celebrate this day with much zest and greet each other by saying ‘Puthundu Vazthukal’. Not just Tamil New Year, this day also marks the beginning of New Year in Assam, West Bengal, Punjab, Manipur and Odisha. The day is spent by feasting on traditional Tamil dishes, giving gifts to each other and visiting homes of near and dear ones. Apart from India, the festival is celebrated in Sri Lanka also.
Some Tamil communities also observe Puthandu as the day when Lord Brahma started the creation of this Universe. Some also believe that Lord Indra who is known as the ‘Prince of harmony’ visited earth on the day of Puthandu to certify contentment and amity.
During this day, Tamilians draw elaborately decorative kolam/ rangoli on the corridor of their homes and have a huge feast as festivals without food is incomplete. A special dish known as Mangai-pachadi is prepared from a variety of flavors. It is generally made using jaggery, mustard, raw mango, neem and red chilies. Red milk rice mixed with sugar cane and sweetmeat is also prepared. This auspicious day is chosen by the elders to hand over money to young children as a token of good luck on the first day of the New Year.
Important Timings on Puthandu
Sunrise 14-Apr-2018 06:11 AM
Sunset 14-Apr-2018 18:43 PM
Sankranti Moment 14-Apr-2018 08:18 AM
Rituals on Puthandu:
-The celebrations of Puthandu begin a day before. On a tray, people arrange three fruits (jackfruit, banana and mango), silver/gold jewelry, money, areca nut, betel leaves, mirror and flowers.
-People wear new clothes on the occasion of Puthandu. The young members and children receive gifts or token of money from elders on Puthandu.
-The day of Puthandu is considered very auspicious to perform Brahman Bhoj. People also visit the temples to seek the divine blessings for the year ahead. In the temples, the head priest also reads out the ‘Panchangam’ for the year to all.
-On the day of Puthandu, a big car festival takes place at Tiruvidaimarudur, near Kumbakonam.