Puthandu 2023: The Tamil New Year, also known as Puthandu, is a celebration that marks the beginning of the Tamil calendar year. It is celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month of Chithirai, which usually falls in mid-April. In 2023, Puthandu will be celebrated on April 14th. This article will delve into the history, traditions, and customs associated with Puthandu.
History and Significance | Puthandu
Puthandu has been celebrated for over 2,000 years. It is believed that the Tamil calendar was created during the reign of King Mahabali in the 4th century BCE. The Tamil calendar is based on the solar cycle and consists of 12 months, each named after a star. The first month of the Tamil calendar is Chithirai.
Puthandu holds immense significance for the Tamil people. It is believed that on this day, Lord Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, started the creation of the universe. Puthandu is also associated with the harvest season, as it marks the beginning of the Tamil month of Chithirai, which is an auspicious time for farmers to start sowing their seeds.
Preparation and Celebrations of Puthandu
The preparations for Puthandu usually start a few days in advance. Houses are thoroughly cleaned, and new clothes are purchased for the entire family. People decorate their homes with colorful kolams (rangolis), mango leaves, and marigold flowers.
On the day of Puthandu, people wake up early in the morning and take a bath. They then visit the temple to offer prayers and seek blessings from the gods. It is customary to read the Panchangam, which is the Tamil almanac that predicts the events of the upcoming year. The Panchangam is read aloud by the eldest member of the family.
Food plays a significant role in Puthandu celebrations. Special dishes are prepared, including mango pachadi, which is a sweet and sour dish made with raw mangoes, jaggery, and neem flowers. It symbolizes the different flavors of life, including sweetness, sourness, and bitterness. Other dishes include vadai, payasam, and sambar rice.
In the evening, people visit their friends and relatives and exchange greetings and gifts. It is customary to give and receive new clothes, sweets, and fruits.
Traditions and Customs | Puthandu 2023
Puthandu is a time to start fresh and leave behind the negativity of the past. It is customary to throw away old items and buy new ones. People also start new ventures, sign new contracts, and make new resolutions.
Another tradition associated with Puthandu is the Kani or the first sight. It is believed that the first thing a person sees on the day of Puthandu sets the tone for the rest of the year. Therefore, a special arrangement is made in the puja room, which includes a mirror, betel leaves, areca nuts, gold, silver, coins, and a few other items. The arrangement is made the previous night, and the person wakes up to the sight of the Kani in the morning.
Puthandu is a celebration of new beginnings and fresh starts. It is a time to embrace positivity and leave behind negativity. The customs and traditions associated with Puthandu have been passed down through generations and continue to be an integral part of Tamil culture. Let us all come together to celebrate this auspicious occasion and welcome the Tamil New Year with open arms.
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