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Puthandu (Tamil New Year) 2023: Date, Celebrations, and Importance

Puthandu (Tamil New Year) 2023: Date, Celebrations, and Importance

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Puthandu is the first day of the year on the Tamil calendar. It is also known as the Tamil New Year. The event is held on the first day of the Tamil month of Chithirai, as determined by the solar cycle of the Hindu calendar. Therefore, it occurs on or around April 14 each year according to the Gregorian calendar. In various parts of India, Hindus observe the same day as the traditional new year, but call it by different names, such as Vishu in Kerala and Vaisakhi or Baisakhi in central and northern India. The day is recognized as a time for families. Households clean their homes, prepare a tray of fruits, flowers, and other auspicious items, light the family Puja altar, and visit their local temples.

This is a noteworthy day for Tamil Nadu, as it marks the beginning of the Tamil calendar. On this auspicious day, people joyfully embark on their journey into the New Year. It is observed on the first day of Chithirai month (the first month according to the Tamil Calendar).

Puthandu (Tamil New Year) Date 2023

Friday, 14 April 2023

Puthandu Celebrations & Rituals

  • Puthandu celebrations begin the day before. People place three fruits (jack fruit, banana, and mango) along with silver/gold jewellery, money, arecanut, betel leaves, a mirror, and flowers on a tray.
  • This is to be observed first thing on the morning of Puthandu, a ceremony known as “Kanni.” The practise of Kanni promises prosperity and happiness in the following year.
  • On Puthandu, houses are exquisitely ornamented with kolams. The middle of a Kolam is adorned with ‘Kuhtuvillakku,’ which represents a lamp. It is often believed that this represents the end of night. This day is celebrated in all Tamil houses with a delicious feast.
  • On the occasion of Puthandu, people wear new attire. It is a day filled with exquisite treats. People greet one another with New Year’s greetings. Elders on Puthandu give young members and youngsters presents or tokens of money.
  • Brahman Bhoj is regarded particularly auspicious on Puthandu. Additionally, people attend temples to seek divine blessings for the next year. In temples, the head priest also reads the annual “Panchangam” to everyone.
  • On the day of Puthandu, certain families in Tamil Nadu also perform ‘tharpanam’ and other rituals in honour of their ancestors.
  • On the day of Puthandu, a large automobile festival is held in Tiruvidaimarudur, close to Kumbakonam. Similar celebrations are also celebrated in Kanchipuram, Tiruchirapalli, and a handful of other locations.
  • In Madurai, the Puthandu festival is celebrated on a big scale. Popularly known as “Chitterai Porutkaatchi,” a large exhibition is conducted at the renowned Meenakshi Amman shrine.

Significance Of Puthandu Festival

Puthandu is commemorated by the Tamil community as the day Brahmadeva created the universe. While others say that Indradev, the “Prince of Harmony,” entered Earth on this date to ensure peace and contentment. Consequently, this day is regarded as one of the most advantageous and significant of the year.

Southern India, primarily Tamilnadu, celebrates the Tamil New Year with food and revelry. People celebrate the day with immense delight and optimism to commemorate the beginning of a new cycle of fortune and prosperity in their life. Additionally, many consider it to be an exceptionally fortunate day for beginning new initiatives or businesses.

Tamil New Year Fact 1: On the day of the Tamil New Year, the Sun would be halfway between the northern and southern hemispheres. This represents the harmony between humans and nature.

Even in Sri Lanka, Puthandu is celebrated nearly annually on the same date. This renowned festival is associated with numerous significant allusions. Poet Nakkirar believed that the Sun travels through eleven zodiac signs from Mesha Rashi or Chitterai. Kudulur Kizhaar regarded the Aries zodiac sign as the beginning of the year.