Tamil New Year – தமிழ புத்தாண்டு falls on14th or15th of April i.e on 1st of Tamil month Chitrai ( வருஷ பிறப்பு ) following the Solar calendar. Many different regions celebrate New Year around this same time like Vaisaki- Punjabis, Bengali – Boishakh, Oriya – Maghe Sankranti, Kerela- Vishu ….
We celebrate Vishu kani/Puthandu with few rituals and offering symbolic neivedhyam to the god.
Tamil new years follow 60 year cycle i.e after 60 years the calendar starts a new with the first year.
This year this falls on April 14th – Manmatha Nana samvathsaram. After the Akshaya Nama samvathsaram in year 2046-2047 ( end of the 60 year cycle) we will go back to Prabhava Nama samvathsaram.
This is in accordance to the position of planets w.r.t that of Earth. Specially the two main palnets, Saturn and Jupiter which comes to the same position after 60 years. Chinese calendar also follow the 60 year cycle.
It is a fascinating read.
Back to our traditions, the day before Vishu Kani it is customary to clean the house the prepare for the new year. The following things are kept ready for the viewing on the new year morning.
KANI is viewing of auspicious things first thing in the morning. In a clean place a plate is filled with variety of fruits, vegetables and coconut along with Vetahli paaku, manjal, kumkumam flowers and dhanyam ( rice and lentils). Some people also keep, money, silver and gold etc… There may be slight variations in this.
All the above is place in front of a mirror that is decorated with flowers and a vastham (cloth) such that the reflection of all the items is seen in the mirror. This is symbolic to that starting he new year seeing auspicious things will fill the whole year with prosperity and happiness.
Main items For Neivedhyam
The Regular meals