Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Festivals & Fairs

Festivals - Hindus | Christians | Muslims


Karthigai Deepam

Karthigai Deepam or the festival Lights is celebrated in Tamil Nadu from the days of Tolkappiam. Every house is illuminated with a large number of flat earthen lamps  and there is great rejoicing, children using crackers and lighting lamps.

Vaishnavites  in some areas of Tamil Nadu  use a type of light  prepared by themselves to illuminate their homes. It is called Pori Vaanam  and is made of a stick called Kavattaik-kambu with cloth, cloth rope, saw-dust, konkani resin and Maruthankai being the fruit of Maruda trees. This combination  produces a sparkling  light . Elephant shaped lights (made  by the potters) are sent  by parents to their daughters on this occasion. 

This day comes in November-December  on the Karthigai constellation day is specially important to Thiruvannamalai. Birth in Tiruvarur, death at Varanasi, worship at Chidambaram  give salvation to human  beings. At Thiruvannamalai, Shiva is supposed to have appeared as a pillar of fire, one of the five elements, on the Karthigai day. The local hills is said to been established  by God, so that the holyday may be observed in perpetuity, by the annual appearance of a blaze of light  at the top, witnessed by the presiding deity, Arunachaleswarar .

Karthigai synchronises with the full moon and people greet the deity with shouts  of Annamalaiyarku  Arohara. In a big copper urn, large quantities of high quality camphour  ghee and wicks are placed  and as the flame is lighted on the hill at 5.00 pm, ignorance fades to merge with God in glory.

A large cattle  fair is held in Thiruvannamalai for ten days along with this festival. On the important days, the deities are taken round  in procession  on various types of ornamental vehicles, these procession are rare sights.