Tamil New Year

11 Apr

Although there is no single true Hindu calendar, mostly, Hindu new year falls around late March to early April. Different regions of India, celebrate the new year on different dates. Southern states of Andhra, Karnataka and Maharashtra celebrate Ugadi / Gudi Padwa on the same day (typically around late-March and early-April). Other states of India – Bengal, Assam, Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu celebrate their new year in mid-April.

Meenakshi Amman Temple

The first day of the month of Chithirai, which usually spans from mid-April to mid-May. There are 12 months in the calendar and the days in each month varies between 29 and 32 with provision for leap-year corrections. Keeping in mind the fact that the food prepared on the new year’s day should include all the six tastes, veppampoo pachadi (Neem flower chutney) for bitter taste, raw mango sweet chutney for sweet and sour tastes are definitely made. The other 3 tastes of pungent, salty and astringent are usually found in an typical Indian meal. It is customary to eat all these dishes (irrespective of whether one likes it or not), and the underlying philosophy is that “everything that happens in life is multi-flavored and no single taste predominates” and we should accept them as is. (Note: I don’t know how true this is, but this is how my mom made us eat the bitter Neem chutney and now wiser with age, I tend to agree with her).

The month of chithirai has a lot of significance as it heralds the arrival of summer to South India and also the famous Chithirai Thiruvizha (Festival of Chithirai), celebrated in the historic Meenaskshi Amman Temple in Madurai. This is a 10-day festival and is a commemoration of the event of the Lord Azhagar (Lord Vishnu’s incarnation) visiting the city to give away his sister Goddess Meenakshi in marriage to Lord Sundereshwarar.

The full moon day of this month is also famously known as Chithra Pournami and is supposed to be the birthday of Lord Buddha, and celebrated as Buddha Poornima.

PUTHANDU NAL VAAZHTHUKKAL! (Tamil for: Happy New year!)

Picture Source:

  1. Wikipedia Commons. Visit the site for copyright information.

Posted by on April 11, 2008 in Pandigai (Festival)



6 responses to “Tamil New Year

  1. Laksh

    April 10, 2008 at 10:51 PM

    Good information as usual. Thamizh Puthandhu Nal Vazhthukkal in advance!

  2. Mythryee

    April 11, 2008 at 1:08 AM

    Puthaandu Nal Vaazhthukkal. Great info.

  3. m's mom

    April 11, 2008 at 2:10 AM

    Thank u for the wishes

    Ellarkkum en iniya puthandu vazhthukkal–incidentally this year’s known as Sarvadhari

    btw I hope u know that we have names for each year(60 of them)starting with Prabhva,Vibhava….etc

    Enjoy ur Mango & veppampoo pachadi along with the usual payasam,aama vadai & poli

    Some ppl in TamilNadu & all Keralites have the Kani Kanum practice on the morning of the Newyear
    And Panchanga patanam signifies the newyear pujai

    Thank K once agn for his pictureque fotos

    I wanted to write about the Kani Kanum practice with Lord Guruvayoorappan and also reading the new Panchangam – totally missed it. Thanks for bringing it up in your comments 🙂 – A-kay

  4. Lakshmi

    April 11, 2008 at 3:05 AM

    Happy New year and Happy Vishu A-kay.


  5. Madhuram

    April 12, 2008 at 5:46 AM

    Ungalukkum iniya puthandu nalvazthukkal. Even though new year is celebrated on different dates in different regions the underlying principle is one and the same, I guess. For telugu new year, my grandmother used to grind a mixutre of tender neem leaves, tender mango leaves, jaggery, tamarind, ginger and I don’t remember the next one, grind it and make into small balls. This is the first thing we were supposed to eat that day.

    Can’t agree with you more – the underlying principle is just the same. This reminds me of the Diwali legiyam that amma used to make, and we were supposed to eat that first thing in the morning on Diwali day – A-kay

  6. UL

    April 17, 2008 at 7:38 AM

    Belated wishes to you Akay, hope you have a wonderful year ahead..


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