CHENNAI: With the difference of opinion pertaining to the start of Tamil new year among believers and non-believers in the Tamil community prevailing, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit invoked oldest known Tamil literature Tholkaappiyam to determine the date of the start of the year.
“Tholkaappiyam is the oldest surviving Tamil grammar that divides the year into six seasons where Chithirai marks the start of the Ilavenil (summer) season. Tamil new year day is celebrated on the first day of the month of Chithirai to mark the entry of Sun god into the first house of zodiac,” Banwarilal Purohit said at the valedictory function of DefExpo on Saturday.
The argument regarding the first day of Tamil new year has been existing for over many decades between followers and non-followers of the Dravidian movement. DMK government in 2008 made Thai 1 (January 14) as the new year day, while the AIADMK made Chithirai 1 as new year day in 2011.
Purohit also said that the eighth-century Silappadikaaram mentions the 12 raasis or zodiac signs starting with Mesha or Chithirai. “Similarly the New Year in Kerala as Vishu is celebrated on the same day. The harvest festival of Baisakhi of the Punjabis also falls on the same day, he added....