Today is the Tamil New Year. This is known as Varushappirappu (வருஷப்பிறப்பு) or the birth of a new year. The year begins in the middle of the month of April as per the Tamil calendar and the New Year’s Day falls on the 13th or 14th.
The Tamil people celebrate it with a delicious meal consisting of பாயசம் (kheer), பச்சிடி (a mix of curd and salad vegetables), sweet பச்சிடி (usually made of mango and jaggery), sambhar (சாம்பார்), rasam (ரசம்), a dry vegetable (கறி), a vegetable in gravy (கூட்டு), fried pappadams (பப்படம்), rice, curds and pickle – all served on a banana leaf.
The one speciality is always vepambu pachidi (வேப்பம்பூ பச்சிடி) – a mix of flowers from the neem tree, jaggery, salt, sautéed red chillis and a few spoonfuls of tamarind juice. This particular dish offers a blend of all tastes, namely sweet, salt, sour, spicy and bitter. The idea is to expect the year to be rich in everything.
Wish one and all a Very Happy New Year!