Home » News

Tamil Nadu Assembly restores April New Year

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 August 2011 14:52 No Comment]

The Tamil Nadu State Assembly on Tuesday resolved to restore Chiththirai 1 (April 14) as the official New Year of Tamils and of the state, in lines with the traditional almanacs. In 2008 January, the previous state government led by Mr M. Karunanidhi resolved in the assembly to declare Thai 1, the Thaip-pongkal day (January 14), as the New Year Day of Tamils. Both days are astronomical and are of the solar calendar. They are reckoned by calculating the entry of the Sun into the mathematical points or beginnings of the signs of Aries and Capricorn respectively, according to the Fixed Zodiac system of the traditional almanacs.

Tamils, Malayalis and Sinhalese in the southern part of South Asia, and Assamese, Panjabis, Bengalis, Oriyas, Manipuris and Nepalis in the northern part celebrate the Chiththirai (April) New Year.

In the rest of India, the traditional New Year is mostly celebrated according to a lunar calendar and the day may vary during March/ April.

Outside of South Asia, the Chiththirai New Year, marking the entry of the Sun into Aries, is celebrated in Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

The day celebrated as Thaip-Pongkal by Tamils, marking the entry of the Sun into Capricorn, is also celebrated in the rest of India under the name Makara Sankranti and it is a national holiday in India.

Almost all the different Eras that were historically followed in South Asia took Chiththirai as the beginning of the year. One exception is the Kollam Era of Kerala that begins in the month of August/ September with the Sun’s entry into Leo.

Besides its association with the various historical Eras, the Chiththirai New Year especially in southern India is associated with an Astronomical Era that has a 60-year cycle reckoned by relative positions of Jupiter and Saturn in the zodiac in every solar year. The same relative position of the said major planets in the solar system will repeat in every 60 years. The cycle of the Era was traditionally used in assessing mainly the annual climate and natural happenings in advance.

[Full Coverage]

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow TNN on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Comments are closed.