The Tamil people of Sri Lankan descent were out and about in London this sunny Saturday 14th April 2018 to celebrate Hindu Tamil New Year.
Tamil New Year [Tamil Puthandu] is the first day of the year on the Tamil calendar. It falls on 14 April every year.. The same day is observed by Hindus elsewhere as the traditional new year, but is known by other names such as Vishu in Kerala, and Vaisakhi in central and north India. On this day, Tamil people greet each other by saying “Puttāṇṭu vāḻttukkaḷ!” All thanks to wiki here.
It’s a big family day at the Hindu temple in Chapel Road, Ealing.
SHRI KANAGATHURKKAI AMMAN (HINDU) TEMPLE TRUST
Temple at Chapel Road, Ealing
On Google Maps here.
There’s a helpful website with good pictures here.
A tray of fruit is presented by each family to the priest for blessing and then taken home for sharing. A tray would typically contain fruits common in Sri Lanka such as banana and mango, often grown there as subsistence crops. A coconut is invariably included as a symbol of the human spirit: seemingly hard on the outside, pure (white) inside. Milk is also brought for blessing. In Sri Lanka the blessed food and drink would be given to the poor who assemble at a temple. A vegetarian meal is provided to all.
It is a Registered Charity [no. 1014409] :
SHRI KANAGATHURKKAI AMMAN (HINDU) TEMPLE TRUST.
The Charity donates substantial sums to Sri Lankan charities for the better care and education of Hindu children.
In India and around the world the Hindu Tamil people number say 60 million. However in Sri Lanka itself they are a minority of say 3 million, living mainly in the coastal areas of the North and East of the Island. The majority Sinhales people constitute about 75% of the Sri Lankan population and number greater than 16.2 million. They are mainly Theravada Buddhist and speak the Sinhalese language.
Green = Area that is claimed for Tamil “Eelam” (ancient name for this territory).
In August / September each year the Ealing temple also celebrates the Hindu Chariot festival. as reported by the Daily Mail newspaper here. The spectacular festival honours the Hindu god of war Murugan’s victory over a demon.
Flag of Sri Lanka