Puthandu (Varsha Pirappu), Tamil New Year is observed on the first day of Tamil month Chithirai, the first month as per traditional Tamil Calendar. It is an auspicious day for Tamils in India and across the world, especially in Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa. In 2010, Varsha Pirappu or Tamil New Year is on April 14.
Women draw patterns called kolams. A lamp called a kuttuvilaku is placed on the center of the kolam, to eradicate darkness. A ritual called kanni takes place. Kanni means ‘auspicious sight’. People watch jewellery, fruits, vegetables, flowers, nuts, rice etc., as it is a belief among Tamils that it brings prosperity. People wear new clothes and special dishes are prepared for the occasion. A car festival is held at Tiruvadamarudur, near Kumbakonam.
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