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Tamil New Year 2024: Date, History, Celebration and Know All About The Hindu Tamil Festival

Tamil New Year: Puthandu, also known as Tamil New Year’s Day, is celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month of Chitterai. In the year 2024, according to the Gregorian calendar, Puthandu will be celebrated on April 14th. This special day is mainly celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu and countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Singapore.

During Puthandu, people participate in various traditional customs and rituals to mark the beginning of the new year. They clean their houses, prepare delicious feasts, and decorate their homes with colorful kolam designs. Families gather together to exchange gifts and spend quality time with loved ones.

In temples, special prayers and ceremonies are held to seek blessings for prosperity and good fortune in the coming year. People also visit relatives and friends to convey their wishes for a happy and prosperous new year. Puthandu is a time of joy, renewal, and hope for the Tamil community around the world.

Puthandu 2024 Date

Tamil New Year

According to Tamil tradition and their solar calendar, they determine their New Year’s Day based on the timing of an astronomical event called Sankranti. If Sankranti occurs after sunrise but before sunset, that day is marked as the beginning of the New Year. However, if Sankranti happens after sunset, then the following day is celebrated as Puthandu, the Tamil New Year’s Day.

So, in the context of Tamil Nadu, on Sunday, April 14, 2024, it will be Tamil New Year’s Day if Sankranti occurs after sunrise but before sunset. However, if Sankranti happens after sunset on Sunday, then Monday, April 15, 2024, will be celebrated as Puthandu, the Tamil New Year’s Day.

The tradition reflects the importance of special events in determining significant dates in the Tamil calendar and highlights the cultural richness and unique customs of the Tamil community.

Tamil New Year Celebration

On the day before Puthandu, Tamil New Year’s Day, women decorate their homes with Kolam, colorful designs made on the floor. This is done to welcome happiness and good fortune. It’s a common practice to clean the house either on the day before or on Puthandu itself. People also arrange a tray with fruits, flowers, and other auspicious items.

Before starting the new year, people take herbal baths to purify themselves. Women often take turmeric baths, which are believed to be beneficial for the skin.

On Puthandu, people wear traditional clothes and greet each other warmly. They visit local temples to offer prayers and participate in rituals like Aarti, which involves waving a lamp in front of the deity. Burning incense called “saambrani” is also part of the ceremony. In homes, people sing devotional songs and play traditional instruments to mark the occasion.

A special rice dish called Pongal is prepared and offered to the gods as a form of worship. In some places like Tiruvidaimarudur, there are car festivals held, while other events take place in places like Tiruchirapalli and Kanchipuram.

Families come together to enjoy a feast on Puthandu. One of the special dishes served is “Mangai-pachadi”, similar to a sweet delicacy called “Pacchadi” made during other New Year celebrations like Ugadi and Vishu. It’s made with ingredients like jaggery, sour raw mango, mustard, neem, and red chilies. According to Tamil tradition, this dish symbolizes the different experiences of life and teaches that one should be ready to face all situations calmly, whether good or bad. Various vegetarian dishes are also cooked and enjoyed on this day.

Tamil New Year History

The history of Tamil New Year, also called Puthandu, goes back a long time, way back to the time of the Sangam period, which was around 300 BCE to 300 CE. This was when the Tamil people, who lived mainly in South India, had a rich culture and wrote lots of literature.

Puthandu is all about the Tamil calendar, which follows the sun and stars to track time. It’s organized in a 60-year cycle called the Tamil year. Every year in this cycle has a name, and the first day of the year is Puthandu.

Originally, Puthandu was a celebration of the harvest. It marked the end of the harvest season and the start of the Tamil month called Chitterai. People used to thank the gods for giving them a good harvest and prayed for more success in the coming year.

As time passed, Puthandu became a bigger celebration. It included more religious ceremonies, cultural customs, and community get-togethers. Today, Tamil communities all over the world celebrate Puthandu with a lot of excitement.

Puthandu is not just about having fun; it’s also about thinking about the past year and planning for the new one. People make promises to themselves, try to fix any problems, and hope for good things in the future. It’s a time to start fresh, to wish for good luck, and to remember the Tamil culture that’s been going strong for so long.

Also Read: Hindu New Year 2024: Date, Time, Wishes, History and Significance

1. What is special in Tamil New Year?

For many people in the state, Tamil New Year is a special day. Some Tamil communities think that it was the day when Lord Indra, who is known as the Prince of Harmony, came to earth to check if everything was peaceful. They also believe that Lord Brahma started creating the world on this day.

2. Who created Tamil New Year?

Puthandu, or Tamil New Year, started when the Chola dynasty ruled Tamil Nadu and other parts of South India from the 9th to the 13th centuries. It was during this period that the Tamil calendar was made, and they decided that the first day of Chithirai would be the beginning of the Tamil New Year.

3. What is the other name of Tamil New Year?

Tamil people celebrate Puthandu, also known as Puthuvarusham, as their traditional “Tamil/Hindu New Year,” according to Peter Reeves. This celebration happens in the month of Chittirai, which is the first month in the Tamil solar calendar. Puthandu usually falls on April 14th. In certain areas of Southern Tamil Nadu, the festival is referred to as Chittirai Vishu.

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