Chennai, April 13 (IANS) Tamil Nadu heralded Nandhana - the Tamil New Year - Friday with traditional fervour with people visiting temples in the morning.
'Puthandu Vazthukkal' (New Year greetings) is how friends and relatives greeted one another in the morning in person or over the 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.
'We got up early and went to the Srinivasa Perumal Koil (Temple) in Mylapore. The temple was crowded today (Friday) because of Tamil New Year,' Vasantha Raghunathan, a resident of Mylapore in south Chennai told IANS.
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 with people since morning.
At 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 were being prepared.
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.
This is also the first official Tamil New Year after the previous DMK government in 2008 legislated that from 2009 onwards the New Year for Tamils be celebrated on the first day of Tamil month Thai.
Though the DMK government decreed so, majority of the Tamils in the state continued to celebrate the New Year on the first day of Chithirai.
Tamils in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and other places also continued to celebrate the New Year on the first day of Chithirai.
The AIADMK party which came to power in the state last May decided to go back to the age-old tradition and passed a bill in the assembly reversing the DMK government decision.
'It is not only Tamils even Malayalis have their New Year around the same time. One should not tinker with the traditions,' R. Raghunathan, a Chennai resident, told IANS.
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