By Smrithi Krishnaswamy
Tamilians worldwide celebrate their New Year on the first day of the Chithirai month. Referred to as Puthandu or Varsha Pirappu, this year, Tamilians celebrated the Puthuvarsham (New Year) on April 14, 2021.
People across the globe look forward to New Years day with the hope of new opportunities, and it is no different in this case. Puthandu is the day that marks a new beginning. It is that day for celebrations, feasts and get-togethers. Everyone will wear new clothes, pray, and eat delicious food.
One dish in particular, called mangai pachadi, is a staple for this holiday. It is made of grated raw mango, jaggery, salt, red chillies, neem flowers, a pinch of turmeric and oil. The raw mango symbolizes sourness, while the neem represents bitterness, jaggery signifies sweetness, while chillies mean pungency. It is one of the most important dishes because the contrasting flavors reflect the emotions and challenges people experience. This delicious recipe suggests that life is full of surprises and contrasting events. Therefore, it encourages and inspires people to enjoy life regardless of what it has in store for them.
In India, traditions are very similar, with many families conducting a pooja to pray at home and then enjoying a meal together. Chitterai Thiruvizha is celebrated in the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, which many people attend as well.
I hope this article gave some insight about Tamil New Year! Thank you for reading.
Image Credits: 1: https://www.subbuskitchen.com/raw-mango-pachadi/