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Tamil New Year 2024 – Varusha Pirappu – Puthandu 2024 date - Chithirai 1

The Tamil New Year, Varusha Pirappu or Puthandu, is observed on the first day of Tamil month Chithirai, the first month as per traditional Tamil Calendar. In 2024, the date of Varusha Pirappu or Tamil New Year is April 14. Chithirai 1 is an auspicious day for Tamil speaking people in India (Tamil Nadu) and across the world, especially in Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa. The name of this year is Shobhakrit. 

The main activity on the day is visiting temples and praying for peace, good health, happiness and prosperity. People wish friends, neighbors, family, relatives and colleagues with good fortune, good health and auspiciousness on the day.

A major highlight of the Tamil New Year is the viewing of ‘Kanni’ – meaning auspicious things. Legend has it that viewing auspicious things on this day will bring good fortune throughout the year.

Puthandu date - Chithirai 1

After viewing the Kanni, it is time for a ritualistic bath. After the bath, it is time to draw the ‘Kolam’ or Rangoli (Tamil New Year Kolams). The ‘kolam’ is believed to bring good fortune to the family members. Then, the doorways are decorated with mango leaves.

After this the family assembles for prayers. The prayers begin with the lighting of the traditional lamp (kuthu vilakku).

The lamp is placed next to a brass bowl with a short neck, which contains water and is decorated with mango leaves – called the nirai kudam.

Then, it is time to head to the nearby temples to seek the blessings of the Gods. In some temples, people gather to listen to the Tamil Panchangam, which contains the predictions of the coming year.

Note - Viewing of Kanni is not very common among many Tamilians but some communities do follow it.

How Is Tamil New Year Observed?

  • House is thoroughly cleaned and doors and windows are decorated with festoons – especially leaves of mango.
  • After bathing, the eldest female member in the family starts the Puja arrangement.
  • Kolam or Rangoli is drawn; the Vilakku kolam is the preferred one during the New Year.  This rice-flour kolam is an essential aspect of Tamil New Year.
  • If new clothes are distributed to family members, then it is arranged in front of the deity.
  • Neem leaf Pachadi is prepared. It is basically a mixture of jaggery, chillies, salt, neem leaf or flowers and tamarind. It symbolizes that life is a mixture of sweet and sour.
  • In places where Kanni is viewed, an elderly member guides others to the view the arrangement of auspicious things. This arrangement is usually done on the previous night.
  • In other places, all members wake up and take bath and receive new clothes.

The Puja On Tamil Puthandu?

The most important puja on the day is the Panchanga Puja. Some people also perform the Navagraha Pooja.
  • Offer prayers to Vinayaka (Ganapati)
  • For Panchanga Puja, the latest Panchangam is placed in front of the deity in the Puja room.
  • It is then anointed with chandan (sandalwood paste), kumkum and turmeric paste.
  • Some flowers are placed on the panchanga.
  • A simple puja and aarti is performed for the deity.
  • The neem leaf pachadi is eaten on empty stomach.
  • People then wish friends and relatives – puthandu vazthukal.
After the Pooja, the Panchangam is read especially the predictions for the next year. People who do not perform the Panchangam puja perform a simple puja.

Some people prefer to listen to the Panchanga padanam held in temples.