Karthigai Deepam Festival of 2023 - an inspiring event that symbolizes positivity

Happy Karthigai Deepam 2023 tayhappening.com/

''Karthigai Deepam festival''  in the Tamil month of Karthigai (Nov to mid December) is celebrated with devotion in all  temples dedicated to God Shiva and God Karthikeya (god Muruga), particularly in Tamil Nadu.  At Murugan temples God Karthikeya's  birthday  is celebrated with joy  and devotion; hence the six abodes of God Muruga (''Aarupadai Veedu''  mentioned in Tamil sangam literature, "Thirumurugatrupadai'') in Tamil Nadu such as Tiruchendur, Swamimalai, Thiruparankundram, Palani, Palamuthirsolai and Tiruttani near Chennai \are crowded with devotees on this day.

Karthigai Deepam, Tiruvannamalai,TN

According to the  Tamil Solar Calendar, the day of Karthigai Deepam  falls in the month of Karthigai when Karthigai Nakshatra prevails during Ratrimana. This is also the time when Karthigai Nakshatra coincides with Pournami, the full moon day in the month of Karthigai. The main venue is Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswarar Swamy temple and the popular  festivities  are known as Karthigai Brahmotsavam. Along with  Maha Deepam  festival god Karthikeya's birth day is celebrated on a grand scale at the Subramanya's temples where there will be chariot festival associated with his birthday. 

Karthigai Deepam,TN Temple  utemplesblog.wordpress.com

As for Maha Deepam  at Tiruvannamalai, this year 4 million devotees would be attending the festival events that last  10 days .Lakhs of devotees across the country  will witness the lighting of  Karthigai Deepam atop the 2668 ft tall Arunachala hill today (26th November) in the evening around 6 pm.  Lighting of earthen lamps is  symbolic of prosperity, good health  and dispelling darkness and negativity in us.It also implies that our ego (wick) is burnt with oil (divinity). Particularly in the home the the blaze from the earthen lams gets rid of evil forces, black magic and spells. It was here God Shiva appeared in the form of a huge pillar of fire establishing his supremacy. Undertaking girivalam -walking barefoot on this day around the Holy Hill, is a great ritual to get self-contentment which is essential for survival on this earth.  

On the Deepam day tradition has been that at this temple Akanda Deepam will be lit only after the idol of Arthanareeswarar (a half man and woman form of God Shiva) is emerged in a palanquin in the evening. He comes out of the shrine once a year. Rest of the year the shrine is closed. Before Maha Deepam, an idol of Vinayagar is taken out in a procession followed by Karthikaya, Arunachaleswarar, Unnamulai Amman (Parvati),Chandikeswarar and Ardhanareeswarar.

For the worship of  Akanda Deepam and  Arthanareeswarar. only 4000 to 5000 devotees are allowed inside the temple premises  Upon the lighting of Akanda Deepam  on the temple premises, simultaneously  at 6 pm atop the holy Arunachala temple Maha Deepam is lit by a select group of devotees.

At Tiruvannamalai,  Maha Deepam is followed by  three day float festival (Teppam in Tamil) in the near-by Ayyankulam (water tank) and  well-decorated gods and goddess Parvati will go around the tank in a  floral float. it was on the bank of Ayyankulam Bhagavan Ramanar got the enlightenment decades ago when he was young./

Considering the huge crowd descending on the town  thousands of police personnel are on duty armed with CCTV, watch tower, etc to watch th crowd. Various precautions are taken up by the DA for the benefits of the devotees.