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When is Puthandu 2024? Date, rituals, significance, celebration and more about the Tamil New Year

Puthandu is an important festival that holds great significance in Tamil culture. It is a time for new beginnings, celebrations, and reconnecting with our roots.

Written By : India TV Lifestyle Desk Edited By : Kristina Das
New Delhi
Published on: April 12, 2024 13:17 IST
Puthandu 2024
Image Source : FREEPIK Know dates, rituals, significance, celebrations and more about the Tamil New Year.

The Tamil New Year, also known as Puthandu, is a significant cultural and religious festival celebrated by the Tamil community. It marks the beginning of a new year according to the Tamil calendar and is observed on the first day of the month of Chitterai, which falls in mid-April. In 2024, Puthandu will be celebrated on April 14. This auspicious day holds great significance and is celebrated with much joy and enthusiasm by Tamils all over the world.

The origins of Puthandu can be traced back to ancient Tamil history. According to legend, Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, began the process of creation on this day, making it a very auspicious time for new beginnings. It is also believed that on this day, Lord Shiva performed his cosmic dance, known as Tandava, marking the beginning of creation. Thus, Puthandu is not just a celebration of a new year but also a celebration of life and new beginnings.

Puthandu Puja Rituals:

The rituals associated with Puthandu are deeply rooted in tradition and have been passed down through generations. The preparations for this auspicious day begin weeks in advance. Houses are thoroughly cleaned and decorated with rangolis (intricate patterns made with coloured powder), mango leaves, and flower garlands. Traditional oil lamps are lit in front of the house and on the puja altar.

On the day of Puthandu, families wake up early in the morning before sunrise and take an oil bath. It is believed to cleanse the body and purify the mind for the new year ahead. After bathing, people wear new clothes and visit their local temple to seek blessings for a prosperous year. The temple is adorned with colourful decorations and special prayers and rituals are performed to mark the beginning of the new year.

Another important ritual associated with Puthandu is the preparation of a traditional dish called ‘Mangai Pachadi’. This dish is made with raw mangoes, jaggery, neem flowers, and other ingredients. The four main ingredients symbolize the different aspects of life - sourness for challenges, sweetness for happiness, bitterness for sadness, and salt for fear. This dish is a reminder that life is a mixture of different emotions and we must accept them all with grace.

Significance of Puthandu:

Apart from the religious significance, Puthandu is also a time for celebrations and merriment. Families and friends come together to celebrate the new year with feasts and cultural programs. Traditional dances like Bharatanatyam and folk dances are performed to traditional music. People also exchange gifts and sweets as a symbol of love and harmony.

Celebrations of Puthandu:

One of the most exciting parts of Puthandu celebrations is the ‘Kanni’ or the first sight. It is believed that the first thing one sees on Puthandu morning will set the tone for the rest of the year. Hence, families arrange a beautiful display of fruits, flowers, gold, silver, and other auspicious items in front of a mirror. The women of the house dress up in their finest traditional attire and perform an aarti (traditional ritual with lamps) in front of this display. This is followed by a grand feast where family and friends gather to share delicious traditional dishes.

As we approach Puthandu 2024, let us all come together to celebrate this auspicious occasion with joy, love, and gratitude for the new year ahead. May this Puthandu bring happiness, prosperity, and success to all!

ALSO READ: When is Baisakhi 2024: Know date, timings, puja rituals and more about the harvest festival


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