'Karthigai deepam'' festival, 2023 Thiruvannamalai,TN may attract more devotees this year

temple flag hoisting  Arunachaleswar temple, Tiruvannamala.tvmalai.in
Karthigai maha deepam, Thiruvannamalai, TN religionworld.in

Thiru Karthigai Deepam festival is an important one in Hinduism and it is celebrated on a grand scale in Tamil Nadu at the Arunachaleswar / Annamalaiyar temple, Tiruvannamalai - Shiva temple representing one of the 5 elements/ pancha Boothas - fire or Agni. The temple becomes a beehive of activities because it is the sanctuary for salvation.

Arunachaleswar temple, Tiruvannamalai dreamstime.com

Karthigai refers to one of the stars or Nakshatras and deepam means  light or diya.   Also referred to as  the festival of  deepa  it falls on the full moon day (or a day earlier) in the month of Karthigai (November-December). Karthigai Deepam 2023 date is November 26. The main event of the day is the lighting of traditional oil lamps in the evening after sunset and it is done after Maha deepam is lit on the  2668 tall Arunachala hill close to the temple. Lighting of  Bharani Deepam will be held  at 4 am on the temple premises. On the day, temples, homes and streets are decorated with traditional oil lamps (earthen).  No doubt, special pujas and prayers are held in temples on the day

This being a  long temple festival lasting 10 days and involving many rituals and puja protocols, in the temple town of Tiruvannamalai preparations  had already begun  for the  main event the Maha Deepam festival that began on November 26  2023.  The  customary  flag hoisting ceremony at Sri Arunachaleswarar temple already took place on the 17th of November in the early morning in the presence of important officials with temple priests hoisting the temple flag atop the flag pole / Dwajasthambam by chanting mantras.  The majestic hoisting of the golden flag tree, symbolizes the commencement of the festivities. Special poojas  and abhishekam will be held to to main deities for which the temple will be opened at 2 am in the early mooning 

This year it  is expected to attract more than  20 lakh devotees from across Tamil Nadu and other states. So the authorities are focusing on  necessary facilities  which include operation of special fleets of buses from far-off places  and trains, makeshift parking facilities,  help centers. Medical mobile units, drinking water facilities and toilet.,