One of my favorite things about being in a multicultural family is celebrating all the holidays together. Festivals are just so much fun, especially when we have the opportunity to have a gathering of loved ones, share good food, and make good memories. I especially love it when two festivals fall on the same weekend. Last year, we had Halloween and Diwali back-to-back, and a few weekends ago, we had Tamil Puthandu and Easter back-to-back!
The weekend kicked off with Tamil Puthandu - Tamil New Year. As you might remember, a few years ago we were invited to a luxe Tamil Puthandu that the Indian consulate threw. Since then, we have not celebrated it...until now!
The day began with my mother-in-law waking up early with Maya to perform a pooja in our special "pooja corner". Usually in India, a home will be constructed with a pooja room, but since we live in a 1000 sq.ft tiny urban apartment, we have a "pooja corner"! Maya was very excited to put on a new dress and do the chanting along with my mother-in-law. She seems very fascinated by practicing Hinduism.
Then, my mother-in-law got to work in the kitchen. She made a huge feast of Southern delicacies: Vada, Tamarind Rice, Spinach Dal, Curd Rice, Beans Poriyal, Mor Kuzhambu, and Poli (sweet roti with cardamom). We invited our masala friends over for lunch and we all enjoyed the food together, until there was hardly anything left!
The next day was Easter Sunday and it was really low key. Husband-ji took the baby out for an 8 km stroller walk along the beach. Simultaneously, my in-law's took Maya out to play at a nearby park, so I was ALONE at home for the first time in months! It felt so strange! I took the opportunity to do some Spring cleaning and organizing around the house, since my attention span with the kids never lets me get any work done for more than 5 minutes. I felt relieved to clean up the house a bit since it has gotten so messy and cluttered.
On Easter Monday, my mom had a big family dinner. She wanted to do it at her home since she has a beautiful garden and dining room. She is unwell so we all brought food like a potluck, so there was no pressure for her to make a big dinner. Both of my dad's sisters came and also my "baby" cousin-brother - who is now in his late twenties and is going to buy his first home!
The dinner was just lovely. My mom decorated the table so beautifully that it looked straight out of a magazine. All the blooms in the garden were emerging, and the pink magnolia's which dusted the window with it's presence matched the dining tablecloth perfectly.
The Easter meal reflected our multicultural family, with everyone bringing their own dishes. We had Lemon Rice, Tomato Chutney, Red Cabbage Salad, Green Salad, Okra, Ham, and roasted vegetables like carrots, potatoes and cauliflower. It was a very light and healthy Spring meal.
Dear readers, do you celebrate Puthandu or Easter?
If so, how did you celebrate it?