The Tamil Nadu government has decided to declare the first day of the Tamil month Thai as the Tamil New Year Day, Governor S S Barnala announced in the state assembly on Wednesday.
Delivering his address to the House, he said the decision was taken in view of the consensus amongst almost Tamil scholars that the first of Thai is the first day of the Tamil year.
Till now, the people celebrated April 14 (the first of Chithirai, an auspicious month for conducting marriages) as Tamil New Year Day.
Now those who celebrate Pongal as the festival of Tamils can celebrate it as Tamil New Year Day also with redoubled joy, the governor said.
''On this day, let the people of this state plant trees bearing the 'Mukkani' fruits of banana, mango and jackfruit, draw colourful Kolams, decorate their houses with array of lamps showing them in new splendour, wearing new clothes sing and dance in praise of Tamil pride and self respect, spread the message of equality and shower their love and joy,'' he said.
Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, while inaugurating the Chennai Sangamam, a cultural extravaganza, had announced that Thai 1 would henceforth be celebrated as Tamil New Year Day along with Pongal, the festival of harvest.