Important Hindu festivals of Tamil months - Aadi, Aavani, Purattasi - 02

Festivals, an indispensable part of every culture,  can not survive without religion. That they  have spiritual connotations can not be ignored.   In many countries culture and festivities that are  intertwined, give a common identity  to he people to promote unity and amity among them. Such festivities that are held  at  intervals  keep our culture and ethos alive and pass them on to the next generation. This way our identity and long-held traditions are kept intact  continuously. To keep them interesting free from mundane stuff, every Hindu festival has some significance or offer some message to the people. 

Tsmil nadu temple chariot/ratha.

Here Tamil months  Aadi, Aavani and Puratassi are covered: 

Aadi (July -August):
 The  most important month for women. Fridays and Tuesdays are holy  in this month;  these are called Aadi Velli and Aadi Chevvai; the other one being  Aadi Amavasya. During Addi Fridays and  Tuesdays, women in the house, with reverence, do pujas to the goddess Durga or Parvati and visit the near-by temple for the welfare of the family and kids. Unmarried Kanya pengal get due importance on these auspicious days in this month.  Aadi Pooram is also a special day. The 18th day of Aadi is the most important day for the farmers (delta region)  as they prepare paddy seedlings during this month.

Andal temple, Sri Villiputhur,

Goddess Andal, God Rangamannar, Srivilliputhur, TN

Goddess Aandal Jayanti is a prime festival in Tamil Nadu and Aadipuram is  also dedicated to Goddess Andal, an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, brought up by great Tamil Vaishnava saint Periazhvar.  Andal, a dedicated devotee of Sri Vishnu, composed Thirupavai, consisting of devotional hymns and at-last married the lord and  later merged with him at Srirangam.  Aadi Pooram is observed as the festival of ‘Valaikappu’.  Glass bangles are offered to Goddess Andal and then distributed among all devotees. The belief is  by wearing these bangles, the childless couples will be blessed with a baby  and if pregnant women wear  these bangles, their baby in the womb will be protected  from all the evil forces. Further, it assures of safe delivery for them. The Garudan next to the Perumal and Thayar in the garbgriha  is a unique feature here unlike other temple where garudazhwar is facing the shrine from outside.
People also celebrate this day as Aadi pandigai. especially newly-weds. Women in large number   visit the river banks and tie the Mangalya Sutra (Thaali).  At home special puja is performed followed by a special food which includes delicious “Payasam ''(Kheer) with coconut milk. On the Aadi Ammavasya, most Hindu male members, in the early morning, do Pithru Tharpanam  with sesame seeds and water on the banks of the river to honor the departed souls and get their blessings. Mostly, they do it with the help of a Pundit/ Prohit. One could see a sea of humanity at Rameswaram beach doing Tharpanam for their forefathers. 

Aadi Ammavasya tharpanam, TN

Aadi Ammavasya tharpanam on the river

Pitru Tharpanam.

At Kanyakumari beach, on the banks of Cauvery river at many places, etc.,  this ritual is done by the men with dedication. It is also widely done by  people  across India on the river banks to get blessed by their forefathers.

Aavani (August-September):

  An important month with many rituals. Brahmins, Carpenters, Sthabathis (who make  idols of deities) and certain Chettiyar communities  change their sacred thread on Aavani Avittam day, a ritual that has been around for centuries.  Brahmins are  advised to medicate on Goddess Gayatri and do Gayatri jabam. Wearing sacred thread is a must for all Hindus regardless of castes. Except Brahmins, etc.,  many of them wear during their wedding and when they do karyam (obsequies) for the departed soul.
Tirumala Sri Balaji temple, AP.

Purattaasi (September- October):  An important month for Vaishnavas,  Purattaasi Sani  (all Saturdays) is believed to be  highly auspicious to propitiate  God Vishnu by way of pujas and prayer to Sani bhagavan will help the devotees get rid of ailment, financial loss, etc.  The belief has been that Vishnu who is a protector, will bless the devotees with   prosperity  and welfare to surmount all kinds of problems that might arise in the  future. It is believed that God Vishnu will get rid of  the bad effects of Sani Bhagavan (Saturn) on those people who are in his grip according their planetary positions in the horoscope. If  such devotees visit Vishnu temple and offer prayer, they will be free from any  such obstacles caused by Sani. It is said God Vishnu  appeared on  earth in this month and  devotees consider this an auspicious one for thanking the god for preserving the Universe at the end of Kali Yuga. In this moth lots of devotees visit Tirupati Balaji temple in Andhra. Hindus avoid non-vegetarian food in this month for climatic reason. 

God Vishnu Thinamalr com.

Aippasi (October- November): 
The NE retreating  Monsoon brings in lots of rains over coastal Tamil Nadu in this month which is supposed to be wet all through this  period.  In this Tamil month ''Annaabishekam'' - bathing of Shiva Linga with cooked rice for Lord Shiva is  done at important temples like the one at Thanjavur, etc.It is done on full moon day by covering the Sivalinga in the sanctum sanctorum with cooked rice. At Thanjavur  Big temple  as much as 1000 kg of rice and 1000 kg of vegetables  was cooked for abhishekam in the past. The food will be distributed among devotees as offerings - prasadam  from the lord.

1010 year old Thanjavur big temple, TN.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple,

Annaabishekam. Thanjavur big temple

Thanjavur Big temple lingam,

Crowded Tiruchendur temple, TN,

Soorasamharam, Tiruchendur, TN

Kanda Sashti celebration at Thiruchendur Murugan Temple is the most famous one. The six-day  celebrations which start from Pirathamai of Aippasi Masam culminate on Soorasamharam day(slaying of the demon). Thiru Kalyanam is observed on the next day of Soorasamharam. During Kanda Sashti, devotees observe six day-fasting which starts from first day or Pirathamai (called prathamā in northern Hindu calendar) of Aippasi lunar month and ends on the sixth day which is known as Soorasamharam day. Soorasamharam is the final and the most important day of the six days festivities. It is believed that Lord Murugan defeated Demon Surapadman on the very same day and the festival  is observed every year to mark the victory of the good over the evil. During this great event  a large number of devotees normally congregate on the shore  to witness ‘Soorasamharam’ enacted by the temple priests and others.
It is the only Murugan close to the seaside. Traditionally the temple is located on a hill (Kundru), rarely in s wooded area. 

Lord Shiva in the form of Lingam.

Deepavali, festival of light.

The most famous Hindu festival “Deepavali” is celebrated in this month. The Fridays of this month – Aipassi velli – are dedicated to religious observance. In Tamil Nadu, Deepavali is observed when Chaturdashi Tithi prevails during Brahma Muhurtham i.e. just before sunrise.