Puthandu 2023: What Goes Into Celebrating The Tamil New Year?

by Tejashee Kashyap
Puthandu 2023: What Goes Into Celebrating The Tamil New Year?

Spring is a time of renewal and new beginnings. With many cultures around the world celebrating the spring new year, Puthandu, also known as Tamil New Year, is a significant festival celebrated by the Tamil community. It reminds us to embrace life’s experiences with equanimity and prosperity in the year ahead. Puthandu is being celebrated today, 14 April 2023.

Significance Of Puthandu

Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The celebrations of Puthandu start a few days before the actual day with spring cleaning of the house, decorating it with flowers and rangolis, and preparing special dishes. The day is also marked by cultural programs, music, and dance performances. The exchange of greetings and gifts between friends and family members is an integral part of the celebrations.

It is a time for cultural and spiritual renewal, seeking blessings from the almighty, and strengthening relationships with loved ones. The day’s significance lies in its ability to set the tone for the rest of the year and inspire people to start anew with hope and positivity.

Also Read: 4 Authentic Dosas Of Tamil Nadu We Bet You Have Never Tried Before!

Making Of Traditional Dishes

One of the significant aspects of the Tamil New Year is the preparation of a special dish called, Maanga Pachadi. It is a combination of sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy flavours, and the ingredients used in the dish symbolize the different facets of life.  The dish serves as a reminder to accept and embrace all of life’s experiences.

The primary ingredient of Maanga Pachadi is unripe mango, which is peeled, chopped, and boiled until it becomes soft. The boiled mango is then mashed and mixed with jaggery, neem flowers, green chilli, salt, and turmeric powder to create a sweet and sour base. The final touch is the addition of red chilli powder, which gives the dish a spicy kick.

The dish is then garnished with freshly grated coconut. It is then served as a side dish with steamed rice or consumed as a standalone dish. The unique blend of flavours in Maanga Pachadi makes it a popular dish during celebrations and an essential part of the festive meal.

Tamilians prefer to bring in the new year’s traditional dishes that are symbolic of their culture and heritage. A traditional Puthandu meal plate will include sambar, maanga pachadi, payasam, vadai (a savoury snack made from lentils), paruppu thogayal (a traditional Tamil Nadu-style chutney made with lentils, coconut, and a blend of spices), thalagam  (a unique dish that is a spicy curry that is made from a variety of vegetables), puliyodharai, or tamarind rice, appalam and more. You can find a variety of 14 dishes on a grand Tamil new year serving.

Tell us in the comments how you are celebrating Puthandu.

Cover image credits: Wikimedia Commons