The Tamil New Year or Puthandu that is also generally known as 'Varusha Pirappu' and it marks the dawn of the Dravidian New Year in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On the eve of Varusha Pirappu the people pray to the Gods and thank them and also wishes for prosperity for the coming year. The Tamil New Year falls on the first day Chithirai (Tamil Month) that is normally on the 13th or 14th April every year. In Tamil Nadu if Sankranti falls after sunrise and before the sunset the new year is considered on the same day but if Sankranti is after sunset then the new year is considered to be on the next day. This year Puthandu will be celebrated on 14th April.
The people in Tamil Nadu believe that the God of creation, Lord Brahma started his process of creating the world on this auspicious day. On the Tamil new year the people greet each other with 'Puthandu Vazthukkal', people draw special kolams (rangolis) outside the main door of their homes and the people both young and old dress up in new clothes and feast offer prayers to the Gods at temples.
The people look forward to give a promising start to the year ahead by looking at all good and wonderful things, people keep decorated piles of coconuts, fresh fruits, vegetables, and clean rice in front of the gods. The Tamil New Year is also associated with the harvest festival that is celebrated in many other parts of the country. The farmers on this day pray for rain and good harvest.
Ipadi Pesama iruntha Epadi.
Innum 3 days Than iruku.
Ada Yaravathu Aarambinga pa.
Sari, Naney Aarambikiren.
Vettri’yai Virumbum Namakku
Tholvi’yai Thaangum Manam Illai…!
Tholvi’yai thaangum Manam irundhaal adhuvum
Oru Vettri’ dhaan.!
Intha Putthaandil Anaivarukkum Vetri Kidaikattum.
Wish You a Very Happy & Prosperous New Year.
Let this Puthandu bring peace and affluence
in the lives of all your family members.
The Tamilians on the eve of Puthandu arrange a tray with fruits - mango, banana and jackfruit, betel leaves and areca nut. With this the tray also has coins/money, gold/silver jewellery, flowers and a mirror and this tray has to be viewed in the morning first thing after waking up.
The people of Madurai celebrate Chitterai Thiruvizha in the Meenakshi Temple where a big exhibition is held that is called Chitterai Porutkaatchi, which in some parts is also known as Chittirai Vishu. Some communities celebrate the tamil new year with raw mangoes and neem flowers. In Tiruvidaimarudur near Kumbakonam a big Car Festival is held and the celebrations also take place at Kanchipuram, Tiruchirapalli, and many other places.
The Tamil New Year is observed by the Sri Lankan Tamils with the first financial transaction, 'Kai-vishesham' in April. Sri Lankan Tamils start their new year with a herbal bath with 'maruthu-neer' and other ingredients for good health. The festive season of Puthandu is a time for family visits and improving filial bonds.
In other countries like Malaysia and Singapore, the Tamils join members from other communities like Sikhs, Bengalis and Malayalees to celebrate the traditional new year with the political leaders across the political spectrum wishing the ethnic Indian community for the new year. The Tamil New Year is celebrated with great pomp and show and it is the time of the year when the family comes together and enjoys together.