Tamil New Year Festivities due

Venkat Raman

Auckland, April 8, 2018

Tamilians all over the world will mark their New Year Day on April 14, although festivities in New Zealand and other countries will be held throughout the month to suit the convenience of the community.

Special Prayers will be held at all Temples and Gurdwaras around the country, since April 14 also marks Baisakhi (or ‘Vaisakhi’), the Harvest Festival of the Punjabi and Sikh communities and ‘Vishu,’ a traditional observance of Keralites.

Singhalese of Sri Lanka will also observe their New Year on April 14.

The same day is also celebrated by people of Assam, West Bengal, Manipur, Tripura, Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.

People from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka observed their New Year Day as ‘Ugadi’ on March 18 this year.

Chithirai Vizha

Tamilians in New Zealand will mark their New Year on various days at various locations, especially in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

In Auckland, culture and tradition will combine with modern-day youth to promote an evening of entertainment on Saturday, April 21, 2018.

Organised by Muthtamil Sangam, the event, called, ‘Chithirai Vizha,’ will be held at Freeman’s Bay Community Hall, 52 Hepburn Street, Freeman’s Bay from 530 pm.

Sangam President Soundar Tirupathi said that the ‘Vizha’ (Festival) will bring together a cross-section of our communities.

“As well as performances by our people, the forthcoming event will be glorified by multicultural performances by various ethnic groups. Entry tickets, priced at $10 for adults and $5 for children between five and twelve years (children below five will be admitted free) are now available,” he said.

“The dawn of a New Year always brings with it new hopes for a new era, with people wishing for peace and harmony, higher levels of growth and prosperity and greater community amity and social cohesion. Such hopes are more pronounced in a multicultural country like New Zealand where people join in the festivities of various cultural groups, expressing their joy and solidarity,” Mr Soundhar added.

Importance for Tamils

Tamil New Year is of immense significance for Tamil-speaking people of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry (formerly known as ‘Pondicherry’), Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, South Africa, East Africa, Indian countries – in fact, throughout the world.

According to Vedic Astrology and Classic literature, there are 60 years which rotate, each corresponding to ‘Samvatsara,’ or Jovian Year (which related to Planet Jupiter). The Tamil New Year 2018-2019 is ‘Vilambi,’ the 32nd Samvatsara.

Those subscribing to Astrology believe that those born in Year Vilambi will be prosperous and extend that prosperity to those around them.

Known as ‘Puthandu’ or ‘Pudthuvarusham,’ the observance of Tamil New Year Day is set with the Solar Cycle of the Lunisolar Hindu Calendar as the first day of the Tamil Month of ‘Chithirai,’ known as ‘Chaitra’ in other languages.

It therefore almost always falls on or about 14 April every year on the Gregorian calendar.

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