Tamil New Year is observed on the first day of the Tamil month Chithirai, which usually falls on April 14. Since the day is set based on the solar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar, the occasion has cultural relevance and is celebrated with traditions and historic customs. On this day, people dress up, meet loved ones, and host dinners; gifts are exchanged, bonds are strengthened, and happiness is spread across the region. The Tamil New Year is celebrated by all Tamil Hindus in their various countries of residence, including Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, etc.
History of Tamil New Year
Tamil New Year, also known as ‘Puthandu,’ holds traditional relevance for Tamils across the globe. ‘Puthandu’ translates as ‘new year.’ According to the Tamil calendar, the movement of the sun defines the time and month of the year. And based on the calculations of the community’s ancestors, the new year occurs when the sun is directly above the equator, which is also known as ‘the equinox.’
But that’s not all. There is also a story behind the celebration: According to legend, Lord Indra visited the Earth on this day. He defied the law of gravity as he traveled on his white chariot into the land of men. During his visit, he took a bath in ‘Kiri Saurya,’ i.e. ‘milk.’ The Tamil community also believes that Lord Brahma began his creation of the world on this date. Hence, the day has both cultural and religious relevance for everyone and must be celebrated as an ode to the gods.
This is why on the Tamil New Year, people make an extra effort to dress fancily and practice customs that hold traditional significance, which includes greeting each other with the phrase ‘Puthandu Vazthukal.’ The people also believe that the blessings of the elders are essential to one’s success; accordingly, the elders play a significant role in the Tamil New Year celebrations.
Tamil New Year timeline
Tamil scholars declare January 14 as the Tamil New Year.
The D.M.K. regime states that the New Year will be held in January.
The A.I.A.D.M.K. government changes the new year to April.
The Tamil New Year is called Dhunmuki.
Tamil New Year FAQs
What is the actual Tamil New Year?
It is called Puthandu and Puthuvarusham.
What is the Hindu New Year called?
It is known as Nav Samvatsar.
What is special about the Tamil New Year?
Tamil people believe the new year brings new hopes and dreams.
Tamil New Year Activities
Light some lamps
To celebrate the day, you can go the traditional way and light some lamps that are known as ‘Diya’ in the region. You can decorate your entire abode with these traditional lamps.
Give to the poor
To get into the spirit of the new year and to start it on a positive note, give back to the poor. This could include a monetary donation, a meal, or groceries that can last them a week.
Make a video for the world
Are you super proud of the extravagant Tamil New Year celebrations that take place every year? Well, you can live stream your experience on social media and showcase the culture and traditions of the region to the world
5 Facts About The Tamil New Year
People cleaning houses a day before
This is done to get rid of old and valueless items.
The use of mangoes and jackfruits
They are used in the customs as they represent health.
Importance of betel leaves
On the occasion, betel leaves are offered to elders as a sign of gratitude.
The use of mirrors
Mirrors are used on the occasion to represent all good things in life.
The traditional dish
The dish called ‘package’ is made of raw mangoes, red chili, jaggery, and neem leaves.
Why We Love Tamil New Year
We love the Tamil New Year because it is a day that is flooded with unique traditions and fun. It is also a time that provides everyone a look into Tamil culture and how intriguing it is.
It calls for celebrations
The day is important since it kicks off the New Year, and also calls for a celebration. This means the entire day is spent with a positive attitude, with lots of festivities, entertainment, and fun.
It's a time to enjoy
The Tamil New Year is the time of the year when everyone is given a holiday so they can welcome the upcoming year properly. Hence, it's a day enjoyed by people of all ages and professions.
Tamil New Year dates