New Delhi: The first day of the Chittirai month of the Tamil Calendar is celebrated as the Tamil New Year, also known as Puthandu or Varsha Pirappu. This year, India marks the festival on April 14. The Tamils celebrate the day with much fan-fare and prepare some delicious south Indian dishes.
New Year is all about being hopeful of a better living. People look forward to a pleasant ride in the journey called life. Hence Tamil people begin the day by looking at the Kani to move forward in their journey. A Kani is a symbol of prosperity. It symbolises things that people need for their well-being and it includes food, clothing and other essentials.
The Kani is usually assembled on the eve of the New Year so that the first thing people can do on the following day is to view the contents of the tray clearly from the mirror reflection.
Houses are decorated with flowers and auspicious items, puja is performed and people visit the temples after wearing new clothes. A rangoli made of rice flour is made on the floor. After seeking blessings from the Gods, people prepare pacchadi – the most important preparation for the occasion, sweets and other special recipes. And then they head to a temple for an auspicious beginning.
The pacchadi or chutney prepared with grated raw mango, tamarind pulp, jaggery, chilli, neem flowers and salt is consumed as the main prasad. It inspires people to embrace life and its varied offerings.
After visiting a temple, relatives, friends, well-wishers and neighbours greet each other Puttandu Nal Vazthukkal and exchange sweets and delicacies.
Wishing our readers a very Puthandu!