Puthandu or Varsha Pirappu is the Tamil communities New Year falling on the same Tamil calendar day annually during the Sun's transit with Aries in Vedic Astrology.
To welcome the New Year and be cleansed of old energies, homes are cleaned and decluttered. Old worn-out items such as clothing, furniture, cooking items, curtains, broken items are destroyed, burnt or binned.
Entrance to homes and front doors stunningly decorated with colourful rice flower designs called Kollam or Rangoli. Top front door entrance lined with mango leaf banners decorated with sandalwood powder.
On New Year day, after bathing and dressed in newly purchased outfits, families gather in front of the family home Altar and place on a silver or bronze tray lined with banana leaf - fresh fruits and homemade sweets, savouries. Deities on the Altar honoured with flowers and ghee lamps following devotional prayers of gratitude for blessings.
Visiting temples, feasting, gift-giving, and visiting friends and families are all part of the celebrations.