Today is Chithirai New Year, observed annually by Hindus around the world on April 14.

The festival marks the arrival of the spring season, and is celebrated in the month of Chithirai, according to the Tamil solar calendar.

Celebrants wish each other 'Puthaandu Vaaltukkal' on this day, before celebrating the day in new attires and full of hope for the coming year.

History

According to mythology, Lord Brahma created the universe on the day of Puthandu. There are references in early Tamil literature about the New Year being celebrated in the month of April. It is also believed that Lord Indra, the Prince of Harmony, came to Earth on this day to verify peace and serenity on the planet.

Significance

Celebrants believe that the beginning of the new year brings new hopes and dreams. They celebrate the day with family and friends, and enjoy great vegetarian feasts with high excitement. They also visit temples and offer prayers to God seeking blessings for their family, and for a greater year ahead.

Rituals

A day before the New Year, celebrants adorn the compound of their houses with "kolams" using coloured rice powders and flowers. This is done to welcome a positive vibe and energy into the house.

The celebrants also thoroughly clean their houses the day before New Year, and set up a tray filled with fruits, flowers, and other items which are considered auspicious before the altar, as an offering to the Goddess of Wealth, Laxmi.

In addition, celebrants also take a herbal bath, especially with turmeric, to cleanse themselves for the festival. They then seek blessings from the elders in the family, and sing devotional songs to observe the day.

Astro Ulagam has previously highlighted the 10 facts about the Chithirai New Year here, and some of the delicacies commonly made and served during the festival here.

We would like to wish all Hindus "Iniya Chithirai Puthandu Vaaltukkal'!


Source: firstpost.com, news18.com
Photo source: firstpost.com