Tamil New Year(Tamizh Puthandu) / Vishu Recipes
Tamil New Years day falls in the month of April on 13th or 14th every year. This year it’s being celebrated on 14th April. The day is the first day of the Tamil calendar month “Chithirai“. In Kerala state of India, they celebrate this day as “Vishu“. This year Vishu is being celebrated on 14th Apr.
Significance of Tamil month Chithirai:
Tamil months are called solar months. These months are predicted to be based on the motion of the Sun, relative to the Earth. The Spring Season starts in the month of Chitirai where all the mango and neem trees will be full of flowers and fruits. This act is regarded as an indication that human life is mixed with sweetness and bitterness. Thats why we welcome the first day of Chitrai as New Year, as a festive day with new hopes.
Traditions Followed in Tamil Nadu:
Cleaning on the Eve: We spend the New Year’s Eve cleaning and decorating the house. The entrances to the houses are decorated elaborately with kolams (design made with rice flower) and adorn the doorway with mango leaves.
Gather fruits and food of 6 different tastes : It is considered sacred to observe the early morning of the Tamil New Year by placing a plate consisting of mangoes, jackfruit, bananas, betel leaves with nut, mirror, Jewels and paddy and pulses. Life is a mix of bitterness and sweetness. As a sign of this mixed tastes in life, we have a tradition to make veppam poo pachadi and mangai (mango) pachadi. The pachadi has all 6 tastes like sweet, bitter, sour, salt, spice and astringent.
Cleanse the body and mind: We wake up early in the morning, take bath, wear new dresses
Give offerings and prayers to the God: As part of our morning routine on the first day of the new year, we begin praying and giving offerings to god idols. Offerings can include fruits and sweets as well as decorations for the idols, such as garlands. Then, we go to temple to see special poojas.
Visit Friends and Family: We meet friends and family and exchange small delicacies and sweets
We consider this day as the most auspicious start of the year and the whole month is considered to be so auspicious. There will be marriages and other auspicious events like house warming throughout this month.
Traditions in Kerala:
In Kerala, People celebrate this day as “Vishu”. “Vishu Kani Kannal” is a tradition followed by them. On the eve of Vishu,
- Decorate their pooja room and deities pictures with flowers.
- Place a wooden board (palagai/ manai) and do rangoli
- On top of the board, they keep a mirror and on both sides of mirror, lamps placed and decorated with flowers.
- A plate full of fruits like mango, banana, vegetables like cucumber, betel leaves and nut, a cup of rice, a cup of pulses, flowers, jewels, coins/money are kept
Elderly women will wake up early that morning and light the lamps. She will see all the items kept in the pooja room. Then according to the age, she will call the others and help them come to pooja room with their eyes shut make them see all of these items first. Once they all take bath, they will get blessings from the elders and elders distribute money to the all the younger ones in the house which is usually referred as “Kai Neetam” . Then they go to temples to get darshan of Guruvayurappan.
In our home we celebrate both Vishu and Tamil new year. This year, as per panjangam, the New Year is on 14-apr-2020 and hence we will do the rich lunch on 14th and we will do the kani kanradhu also on 14th April this year.