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COVID-19: PM Modi Greets Nation With Hopeful Message On Tamil New Year

As Tamil Nadu welcomes its traditional New Year (Puthandu) amid the Coronavirus pandemic, PM Modi took to Twitter and wished the people with a message of hope.

new year

As the country tries to fight a catastrophic virus, Tamil Nadu steps into a new year on April 14, along with Assam, Kerala, Odisha, Punjab and Bengal, with less pomp and fanfare, but double the hope. Notably, traditional new year observed across the country on Tuesday is also the last day of the national lockdown in the country intended to break the chain of the infectious virus.

Tamil New Year which is believed to usher in hope, good health and prosperity is celebrated with great pomp and show- temples organise massive exhibitions attracting visitors from across the country, families decorate platters with delicious food, flowers, gold jewellery, cash and other objects symbolising prosperity. It is then placed next to a deity at home, as an offering to the Gods.

In several States, people will mark the beginning of the new year under extreme measures and relatively cautiously, as the number of coronavirus cases soared past 10,000.

Read | Here's why PM Modi extended India's COVID lockdown till May 3 and not April 30 like states

How TN celebrated its New Year

Families crowded around gadgets instead of hosting family gatherings and wished each other virtually, grand dinners will swiftly be replaced with modest meals and simple rangolis adorning the doorsteps of nearly every house.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the people of Tamil Nadu with a tweet just ahead of his national address regarding the Corona crisis.

Read | PM Modi extends India's Coronavirus lockdown till May 3; announces additional measures

The tweet translates to:

'Greetings to all, especially to my brothers and sisters from Tamil Nadu on this New Years Day. May the festival deepen the spirit of brotherhood and also bring joy and good health. I pray that all your wishes come true', he tweeted.

The Prime Minister subsequently also tweeted in other regional languages, in Bengali, Telugu and Assamese to convey his greetings to the people. The traditional new year, though poses a significant new challenge to the country, the spirit of the festival and the people remain unhampered as they improvise new ways to celebrate the joyous occasion safely with their friends and families. 

Read | 'National approach - blanket policy,' says Arnab as PM Modi extends COVID lockdown

Significance of Tamil New Year (Puthandu)

According to local folklore, it is believed that on April 14, Lord Brahma, "created" the universe on this day. As part of the State's 23 public holidays, Puthandu is also celebrated in other countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and other countries with a sizeable Tamil population.

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