Puthandu is the celebration of the Tamil New Year, which is the first day of the month of ‘Chitteari’ in the Tamil calendar. However, looking in the Gregorian calendar it falls most likely on the 14th of April. Chitterai is the beginning month of the Tamil solar calendar and Puthandu marks the onset of the new calendric year. This day is celebrated with immense enthusiasm and fervour in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and also in places outside India that has significant Tamil population. Puthandu is also popularly known as ‘Varusha Pirappu’ and is celebrated with different names in all parts of the country. In Kerala it is celebrated as ‘Vishu’, in Orissa as ‘Pana Sankranti’, in West Bengal as ‘Poila Boishak’, in Assam as ‘Bihu’ and in Punjab this day is observed as ‘Vaisakhi’.

Puthandu

Puthandu

Rituals during Puthandu:

  • The celebrations of Puthandu begin a day before. On a tray, people arrange three fruits (jack fruit, banana and mango), silver/gold jewelry, money, arecanut, betel leaves, mirror and flowers. This is to be sighted first thing on the morning of Puthandu and this ritual is known as ‘Kanni’. The practice of Kanni brings happiness and prosperity in the coming year.
  • Houses are beautifully decorated with kolams on Puthandu. The middle of Kolam is decorated with ‘Kuhtuvillakku’ that signifies a lamp. It is a popular belief that this signifies the removal of darkness. This day is marked with a scrumptious feast in all Tamil homes.
  • People wear new clothes on the occasion of Puthandu. It is a day of feasting on the gourmet delicacies. People exchange New Year greetings with one another. The young members and children receive gifts or token of money from elders on Puthandu.
  • The day of Puthandu is considered very auspicious to perform Brahman Bhoj. People also visit the temples to seek the divine blessings for the year ahead. In the temples, the head priest also reads out the ‘Panchangam’ for the year to all.
  • Some families in Tamil Nadu also do the ‘tharpanam’ and other rituals in remembrance of their ancestors on the day of Puthandu.
  • On the day of Puthandu a big car festival takes place at Tiruvidaimarudur, near Kumbakonam. Such festivals are also held in Kanchipuram, Tiruchirapalli and few other places.
  • In Madurai, the celebration of Puthandu is done on a grand scale. A big exhibition popularly called as ‘Chitterai Porutkaatchi’ is held at the famous Meenakshi Amman temple.

Important Timings On Puthandu

Sunrise14-Apr-2017 06:10 AM
Sunset14-Apr-2017 18:43 PM
Sankranti Moment14-Apr-2017 02:07 AM
Place : Ujjain [ India ] Time Zone : IST (+05:30)

Significance of Puthandu:

Puthandu is the beginning of Chitterai, the first day of the New Year. It is a very auspicious occasion for Tamils. Some Tamil communities also observe Puthandu as the day when Lord Brahma started the creation of this Universe. Some also believe that Lord Indra who is known as the ‘Prince of harmony’ visited earth on the day of Puthandu to certify contentment and amity. In Tamil Nadu and few other Southern states of India, Puthandu is a day of feasting and merrymaking. Tamils celebrate this festival with immense hope and joy to ensure that the New Year brings growth and opportunities in their lives. Puthandu is observed as the day to initiate new beginnings. People greet each other by wishing ‘Puthandu Pirappuv’ that implies ‘Happy New Year’.

Puthandu festival dates between 2014 & 2024

YearDate
2014Monday, 14th of April
2015Tuesday, 14th of April
2016Thursday, 14th of April
2017Friday, 14th of April
2018Saturday, 14th of April
2019Sunday, 14th of April
2020Tuesday, 14th of April
2021Wednesday, 14th of April
2022Thursday, 14th of April
2023Friday, 14th of April
2024Sunday, 14th of April
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