Chennai: People celebrated the Tamil New Year across the state on Tuesday in a traditional way by visiting temples in the morning.
“Puthandu Vazthukkal” (New Year greetings) is how friends and relatives greeted one another in person or over phone.
The Tamil New Year is celebrated on the first day of Tamil month Chithirai, which normally falls on April 13 or 14 every year.
The houses are decorated with kolam (rangoli) outside the front door. Mango leaf streamers adorned the door frames.
All the popular temples here – Kapaleeswarar Temple, Sri Parthasarathy Temple and others – were crowded since morning.
In big temples, the almanac for the New Year was read.
At home, Tamilians feasted on dishes like vada and payasam (sweet dish) and other savouries.
The special dish of the day is the ‘Mango Pachidi’ made with neem flowers, jaggery, mango, green chilli, salt and tamarind juice representing the six major emotions that humans experience.
Tamils in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and other places also celebrated the New Year on the first day of Chithirai.
Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah said: “On the joyous occasion of Tamil New Year, Baisakhi, and Vishu I extend my heartiest greetings and best wishes to the people.”
“Let us on the dawn of New Year unite and rededicate ourselves to promote unity, peace and harmony and make India progress in all spheres,” he said.
AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa and other leaders also greeted people on the Tamil New Year.