Tamil New Year (Puthandu) 2022 Date: Puthandu, according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, is the first day of the traditional Tamil New Year. This year, it falls on April 14, and is a public holiday in Tamil Nadu. Interestingly, along with Tamilians across the world, many other Indian communities also celebrate their traditional new year around the same time — Vishu in Kerala, Bihu for those in Assam, Baishakhi in Punjab, and Pohela Boishakh in West Bengal.
On the auspicious day, people wear new clothes and visit temples. In some parts of Tamil Nadu, the festival is also called ‘Chittirai Vishu’. The prayer offering includes three fruits — mango, jackfruit, and banana — money in the form of coins, gold or silver jewellery, a mirror, flowers, betel leaves and areca nut. Rangolis called kolams are drawn using rice flour on the home entrances.
A feast is enjoyed on the occasion as people sit down together dressed in their best traditional clothes after having paid respects to the elders in the family.
One of the star dishes on the menu is mangai-pachadi, made with raw mango, sweet jaggery, red chillies, neem leaves and astringent mustard. An interesting metaphorical explanation behind the explosive flavours of the dish is that it is much like life that comes packed with different experiences — sweet, bitter, spicy, and salty.