Today, 17 August 2013 Malayalam New Year 1189 (Kollavarsham 2013-2014 begins) in Kerala. It also marks the first day of Chingam Month (Simha Masam) in Malayalam calendar.
Chingam Month 1 marks the transition of Sun to Chingam rasi or Simha rasi (Leo zodiac) from Karkidakam rasi or Karka rasi (Cancer zodiac).
Onam or Thiruvonam is the biggest festival celebrated in Chingam month and it is also the biggest of all Kerala festivals. Malayalam calendar is the only calendar which celebrated its New Year in rainy season i.e. in August.
It is to note that Vishu festival is the Malayalam Zodiac New Year. It is celebrated on Mesha Sankranti (Meda Masam 1), generally comes in April month of Gregorian calendar.