The Tamil New Year, like Deepavali, packs a punch when it comes to fervorous celebrations. 

According to the Tamil calendar, it follows a 60-year cycle with Chittirai being the first month of each Tamil year. According to the Gregorian calendar, this year’s joyous festival will commence on April 14th which is today. We are now in the 60-year period, which started in 1987 and will conclude in 2047. 

Hema Malini, a flower seller from Jalan Pekan 11, Cheras, Selangor who has been in the trade for 15 years has never been more thankful for the little things in life, than today. 

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Varnam had an opportunity to interview the flower seller to get a glimpse into her new year celebration.

How do you prepare yourself to celebrate the auspicious Tamil New Year with your family?

As usual, once I’m back from work, I’ll start to clean the house the night before the festival. As we believe that for a new beginning, the old negativity must be thrown out first. Our Pooja Room is decorated with a huge mirror and before it is placed with abundant signs of prosperity such as trays laden with fruits, flowers, jewellery, coins; basically all things that show the grace and blessings of Goddess Laxmi, the giver of wealth and prosperity.

How’s business like these days?

Flowers were in high demand but prices were not raised this year as retailers have not slashed the prices of flowers. So, the prices remain and despite it all the customers keep coming.

What about New Year’s lunch? What are your favourite dishes? 

The Tamil New Year lunch consists of a variety of dishes that satisfy all six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. 

Apart from that, there’s a vada that we make with three different types of distinct varieties of dals, rice, sambar, rasam, tauhu sambal, appalam, and sweet dish gulab jamun.” The household smells and feels festive. 

How different will be your Tamil New Year this year?

This New Year is going to be different, as all my children took leave and we’re going to prepare a pleasant meal together with whatever recipes we have on hand. The great thing about this New Year is that the entire family is together.

The Tamil New Year serves as a reminder of life’s many facets and how they can all be treated with similar equanimity. It represents the fact that life’s experiences aren’t entirely sweet or bitter, but rather a combination of both, and that they should be welcomed and experienced as such. 

Team Varnam wishes all of our avid readers a Happy Tamil New Year and Happy Vishu!