Chittirai Puttandu and Vishu tomorrow

Tamil New Year, Vishu rush in Little India, Brickfields

KUALA LUMPUR: The Tamil and Malayalee communities in this country will observe their respective new year festivals on April 14, namely Chittirai Puttandu and Vishu respectively.

A survey at Little India in Brickfields here found many Hindus and Malayalees making final preparations by purchasing items such as flowers, fruits, prayer items and ‘thoranam’ (hanging of decorations made from tender coconut leaf blades) since morning today while strictly adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Covid-19.

All these items were sold at a reasonable price and wholesale prices of most vegetables and flowers remained stable.

A flower seller, S. Meenakshi, 45, said although the demand for flowers was very high, the price was not inflated this year.

“The supplier never increased the price, thus there is no reason for us (seller) to do so. Usually, the crowd also will come at night for last-minute shopping,” she told Bernama today.

Although people are allowed to go to the temple this year, those celebrating were encouraged to do so at home.

Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) president Datuk RS Mohan Shan, who encouraged the Tamil community to celebrate Chittirai Puthandu at home with their loved ones, said the Tamil new year would begin at 4.31 am on April 14 and the people can conduct prayers after 5 am or in the evening.

“On the new year, people should prepare medicated water at home and take a bath while offering special prayers for the benefit of the world and community,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

Mohan said MHS, together with 40 Indian non-governmental organisations (​NGO), will organise a ‘Tamil Puthandu Kondatam’ (Tamil New Year celebration) at the Kala Mandabam, here from 3pm to 7pm tomorrow.

“There will be cultural performances like Urume Meelam show, Poi-kal Kuthirai and book launching. We expect around 300 people to join in,” he said.

The birth of the Tamil month of Chittirai is marked annually on the first day of the Tamil solar calendar, known this year as the Pilava Year.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Hindu Malayalee Cultural & Traditional Association (PAKAR Malayalee Malaysia) president Dr N R Nambiar said Malayalees can hold prayers early in the morning to welcome the new year.

He said people can prepare the Vishukkani, which is a panorama of auspicious items, with flowers, Tulasi (holy basil), Konnapoo (Cassia fistula flower), grains, rice, a mirror and statue of Lord Krishna.

Vishu marks the first day of the Zodiac New Year, the first day of the month called Medam, according to the official panjangam (almanac) of Sri Guruvayoorappan Devaswom Kerala; Kerala Mathrubumi Panjangam; Kerala Valya Panjangam and Kerala Manorama Panjangam.

He noted that Malayalees believe that the new year will be better if one views auspicious and joyful things as the first thing on Vishu.

Today, the Telugu community celebrates Ugadi while the Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi. – Bernama