Tamil New Year, also called “Puthandu“, is celebrated by Tamil-speaking people Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. It occurs on the first day of Chithirai on the Tamil Calendar, which is usually 14 April on the Gregorian Calendar.
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On Tamil New Year, it is traditional to decorate a symbolic tray with such items as mangoes, bananas, jackfruit, betel leaves, jewellery, coins, mirrors, and flowers. This tray is often the first thing a Tamil sees when waking up to a new year. A second notable tradition is the making of intricate, coloured rice-powder designs called “kolam” on one’s floor.
Tamils spend much time together as families on New Year’s Day, and they enjoy a traditional meatless feast. Children are expected to show respect for elders in return for a blessing. People will also clean their houses and visit local Hindu temples.
One of the main events for Tamil New Year is the Chitterai Porutkaatchi exhibit at the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai. But there are many smaller, local events to attend as well.