Puthandu is a festival observed to mark the beginning of the Tamil New Year. This special day is also known as Puthuvarudam or Varsha Pirappu. Tamil Hindus of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry celebrate this festival on the first day of the Chithirai month with great cheer and enthusiasm.
People of the Tamil diaspora abroad also commemorate this new year festival on the occasion of Puthandu. The most interesting fact about Puthandu is that it falls on the same day almost every year according to the Gregorian Calendar. On this day, people wish each other by saying 'Puthandu Nalvazthukal' which means 'Happy New Year' in English.
Puthandu 2022 Date:
Puthandu marks the first day of the Tamil Hindu Calendar. According to the Gregorian Calendar, the day will be celebrated on 14 April this year. Tamil Saka Samvata 1944 will start on this day. The day is considered a public holiday in the state of Tamil Nadu and all public offerings are declined on that day. Banks, schools and many private offices remain close on the occasion of Puthandu.
The day is celebrated in other parts of India as well. It is known as Vishu in Kerala, Baisakhi in central and northern India, Pohela Sankranti in Odisha and Bihu in Assam.
History & Significance of Puthandu:
Mythology says that Lord Brahma created the universe on the day of Puthandu. Tamil people believe that the beginning of the new year brings new hopes and dreams. They celebrate the day with family and friends and enjoy a great feast with high pomp and excitement. They visit temples wearing new clothes and offer prayers to God to receive blessings for their family.
Tamilians start the day by taking bath and making "kolams" using coloured rice powders and flowers at the entrances of houses. It is signified to welcome a positive vibe and energy into the houses. They also prepare Pongal and offer them in worship as 'neivethyam' by singing devotional songs. There is a tradition to prepare a seasonal dish called 'Manga-Pachadi' with raw mangoes, tamarind, jaggery, and fresh neem flowers.
Getting dressed in new clothes, people visit their relatives seeking the blessings of elders. On Puthandu eve, there is a lore of preparing a tray that consists of mango, banana, jack fruit, betel leaves, jewellery, money, and flowers and placing it in front of a mirror.
On the day of Tamil New Year, a festival named 'Chitterai Thiruvizha' is observed in Meenakshi Temple in Madurai and an annual Chariot Festival is celebrated at Tiruvidaimarudur.