New Year, new beginnings by VASTHU SASTRA By T.SELVA

Posted on April 7th, 2008 by thenmozly in Festival

Indians all over the world, particularly Tamils, will celebrate the birth of the New Year next Sunday (April 13), an auspicious day to start new ventures and undertakings.

The festival may be less known to other communities but to the Dravidian people who live in or come from South India and Sri Lanka, the New Year follows the Gregorian calendar.

In the Gregorian calendar, the tropical year is approximated as 365 97/400 days, which equals to 365.2425 days.

Astrologically, in the month of April, the sun moves from the House of Pisces to the House of Aries in the celestial sphere.

It marks the end of the harvest season and also coincides with one of two instances when the sun is directly overhead in India and Sri Lanka.

However, unlike the Western practice of ushering in the New Year at midnight on Dec 31, the Tamil New Year begins at a time determined by astrological signs.

Also unlike western traditions, the ending of the old year and the beginning of the New Year occur several hours apart and this span is determined by astrology as well. This period is referred to, aptly enough, as the neutral period.

In Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu in India, it will be a public holiday and Tamils will greet each other with “Puthandu Varthukal “which means “Happy New Year” and the day is popularly known as “Varusha Pirappu”.

It is an important date in the Indian Almanac and the main focus of the day is how revellers welcome the special day, which is celebrated grandly, similar to Deepavali.

In Vasthu Sastra, preparing for and ushering the auspicious day is given due importance so that individuals will be blessed with prosperity and good health all year round.

One week before the event, those celebrating the festival should ensure that they wash and clean their house thoroughly and remove all broken household items as these are collectors of bad energy.

House owners are advised to spruce up the exterior and interior of their homes with a fresh coat of paint to give it a new look and also to mark the renewal of life so that it vibrates with positive energies.

Remove all clutters and disused items in the corners or under the table and beds as they promote dullness and a depressing mood.

The tradition best kept secret is to wake up on the big day to view auspicious items like gold ornaments, jewellery, fruits or raw rice for good luck.

Following this, Tamils should bathe after applying oil to remove impurities and wear fresh clothes and offer prayers for success at the temples or at the altar in their homes.

Burning of the oil lamp in the house is essential to create a sacred space and to remove darkness and all unholy entities in the space.

Drawing the kollam (patterns made out of rice flour) on the floor at the main doorway of the house is another good sign to greet the special day with cheer.

An important dish served on this day to the family and guests are sweet brown sugar rice (ponggal) and saffron-coated sour rice, which symbolise that one has to face everything from success to disappointment in life.

Exchanging gifts among family members is part of the merrymaking and also seeking blessings and forgiveness from elders performed after prayer rituals to enhance family bonding.

Vasthu talks

The columnist will speak on astrology for the current period and Vasthu Sastra for happiness, prosperity, and peace of mind today at 2.30pm at the Emperor Hotel, Malacca. Admission is by contribution of RM10 to the Bukit Beruang Sri Muthu Mariammam Temple. To register, call S.L. Muruggiah at 019-222 7174. Another talk will be held on May 11 at 3pm at Ceylon Tamils Kalavirthy Sangam hall at 30, Jalan Utara, off Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur. Admission is by contribution of RM10 to the association’s fund for activities. To register, call G. Ramalingam at 012-329 9713.

> T. Selva, The Star’s Sunday Metro Editor, has spent years researching and writing about the ancient Indian science of construction, better known as ‚ÄėIndian feng shui’. He is the first disciple of 7th generation Vasthu Sastra Master Yuvaraj Sowma from Chennai, India.

The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, usefulness, fitness for any particular purpose or other assurances as to the opinions and views expressed in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses suffered directly or indirectly arising from reliance on such opinions and views

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