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Puthandu - Know Imortance & Significance

The festival of Puthandu is very important for Tamil people. This day is also known as Tamil New Year or Puthuvarsham. This day is the first day of the Tamil calendar. According to the Gregorian calendar, it is celebrated every year on 14 April and on this day it is celebrated as Vishu festival in Kerala and Vaisakhi in Central and North India.

On this day, the Tamil people offer a lot of best wishes to all their relatives by calling them Puthandu ‘Waltatukka’. This means heartfelt New Year greetings. This festival is celebrated by all the family members together.

On this day people clean their houses thoroughly and decorate the houses with flowers and lights. People bathe early in the morning and go to worship in a nearby temple and pray to God for peace and happiness.

After that all the people take the blessings of the elders from themselves and pay respect to them. On this day everyone cooks vegetarian food in their homes. The festival of Puthandu is also celebrated by Tamil Hindu people outside Tamil Nadu and Puducherry such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius.

Importance of Puthandu festival

Puthandu is also celebrated in other states like Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, and Tripura. This day is the first day of Tamil calendar.

Celebrating the Tamil New Year in the month of April is associated with pre-Tamil literature. Some people in the south of Tamil Nadu celebrate this festival by the name of Chittirai Vishu. On this day we make beautiful kolams with colored rice powder at the entrance of the houses.

In the evening on Puthandu, 3 fruits (mango, banana and jackfruit), betel leaves are placed in a vessel or tray containing gold/silver ornaments, coins/money, flowers, and a mirror.

This day is celebrated in Chittarai Thiruvizha, Minakshi Temple, in Madurai. On this day there is a huge exhibition called Chittarai Porutkatchi. A huge car fair is also held at Tiruvidaimarudur on this auspicious Tamil New Year. This place is located near Kumbakonam.

Tamil Hindus decorate their homes with various beautiful designs and celebrate the happiness on this day.

Significance

On this day Tamil people spend time with family and enjoy the new year. On this day family members clean their house together. Fruits, flowers and new items are brought from the market. Women decorate the house with colorful flowers and colors and a rangoli is made at the main entrance of the house. Family members gather together and conduct poojas in the house, after which all the people go to worship and roam in the surrounding temples.

The whole family is very excited about this day. Children, children too, enjoy this day with great pomp. All the people worship and prepare new clothes and take the blessings of the elders from themselves. Then all the family members organize food and drink. In this meal, only vegetarian food is arranged on this day.

Puthandu is celebrated in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. Apart from this, Puthandu is also celebrated in countries of Tamil Hindus such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Reunion, Mauritius etc.

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