Fairs and festivals celebrated in Tamilnadu
Tamilnadu is famous for its fairs and festivals. The tamil calendar is marked with lots of colorful days which symbolizes the day of festivals. These festivals are traditional festivals celebrated by our ancestors and still followed and celebrated enthusiastically by the younger generation. Most of these festivals are celebrated in the temples and people all over the world join together and enjoy.
The Harvest Festival Pongal
Pongal is a very important festival celebrated in Tamilnadu. This is also known as the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu. This is a festival celebrated for four days and it falls in the month of January.
Importance of Pongal Festival:
Pongal featival is celebrated on the tamil month Thai. It is celebrated to thank the Sun, Nature and the Cattle, which helped the villagers for getting a good harvest and for making their lives to prosper with wealth.
How to celebrate Bhogi, the First day of the Pongal Festival
Bhogi is the start of the Pongal festival. This falls in the end of tamil month Marghazhi (December in English). People throw away the wastes in fire in the early morning. Then they clean their entire houses and take a head bath. This day is a remarkable day and the ancestors believe in the old saying that
Pazhayana kazhidalum...Pudhiyana Pugudhalum....
Thodangattum Indha Pudhiya Aandu
The meaning is to throw the wastes to mark the bad things to disappear and new things to appear. They then prepare special dishes mainly non-vegetarian dishes on this day.
How to celebrate Thai Pongal, the second day of the Pongal Festival
On this day people clean all the pooja vessels and do poojas to the Sun God. They prepare the traditional dish called Sarkkarai Pongal which is made by boiling rice with jaggery and milk. When it starts to boil and overflow they shout Pongalo Pongal and they consider this as a sign of prosperity. After this they make special dishes for the lunch and start their worship at 12:00 noon in front of the Sun. They draw rangolis, keep the traditional pongal pot containing sweet pongal along with bunch of mango leaves and sugarcane.
How to celebrate Matthu Pongal, the third day of the Pongal Festival
This day is celebrated to thank the bull which helped the farmers to plough the land. They clean the cow and decorate them colorfully with clothes and balloons. The Jallikathu bull festival is celebrated on this day.
Chithirai Festival at Madurai
Chithirai Festival is one of the famous tamilnadu festival. The venue of this Chithirai festival is Madurai temple situated about 500 kms. from Chennai. This ten-day festival starts on the first day of Tamil month Chithirai and ends up on the tenth day of Chithirai month. The highlight of this festival is the the procession Lord "Kallazhagar" from Azhagarmalai for the marriage of his sister Meenakshi to Lord Sundareswarar. The entry of Lord "Kallazhagar to the Vaigai river is a very spectacular view filled with excitement and enthusiasm.
Dance Festivals At Mamallapuram
The Dance Festival at Mammallapuram starts on 25th December and ends on the first week of February every year. This is held on all Saturdays, Sundays and government holidays. The best classical dancers perform their dance on the open air stages build by the Pallavas 13 centuries ago. The dances performed are Bharatha Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Odissi. This dance festival is a great festival for dance lovers.
The Natyanjali Dance Festival at Chidambaram
This Natyanjali Dance Festival is a five-day festival, which starts on the day of Mahashivarathri. Chidambaram temple is the temple of the Cosmic dancer Lord Nataraja situated on the coast of Bay of Bengal. The temple contains 108 bharatanatyam poses. Natyanjali Dance Festival helps the young classical dancers to prove their talent.
The Mahamagam Festival at Kumbakonam
Mahamagam is a great holy festival which falls on the tamil month Maasi and comes once in every 12 years. This is celebrated in the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple of Kumbakonam. It was believed that the pot full of nectar and the seeds of creation possessed by Brahma was spilled by Lord Shiva in the Mahamagam tank present at the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple. Magam is a birth star and persons who are born on this auspicious star are believed to be lucky. People all over the world come to the Mahamagam tank and have a bath to wash of their sins and for their well-being.
The Aurbathimoovar Festival
The word 'Arubathimoovar' means the number 63 which refers to the saints of Lord Shiva. The statues of these saints can be worshipped in the famous Kapaleeshwarar temple at Chennai Mylapore. The statues are decorated and a procession of these 63 saints can be seen in the streets of Mylapore.
Karthika Peruvizha at Tiruvannamalai
The Arunachaleshwarar Temple at Tiruvannamalai is the venue of Karthigai Peruvizha. This 10 day festival ends on the day of Karthigai deepam. The attraction of this festival is the procession of images of Annamalaiyaar and Unnamulaiyaal on the streets of Tiruvannamalai, which is led by the performance of traditional folk dances such as Karagam, the snake dance, the peacock dance etc. by the professionals. The temple elephant is well-decorated and the Nadaswaram artistes adjoin the vizha. One can witness thousands of participants coming from all over the world.
Skanda Sashti Vizha
Skanda Sashti is celebrated for Lord Muruga in all Shivan Koils. This is celebrated on the sixth day of the tamil month of Aippasi (Oct 15 - Nov 15). This six day skanda sashti festival is celebrated as a remembrance of the six day war between the Lord Muruga and the evil asuran. The devotees will stay in the temple premises for these 6 days and take only milk and banana. Thiruchendur and Thiruparakundram is very famous for this Skanda Shasti. Kavadi is taken on this day by the devotees of Lord Muruga.