A Month of special significance in Tamil Nadu
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‘Aadi’ is the fourth month in the Tamil Calendar beginning this year on Saturday, July 16. The start of this month is the ‘Dakshinayana Punyakalam’ or ‘Beginning of Sacred Period.’ ‘Dakshinayanam’ denotes a six-month period during which the Sun rises to the South-East of the Equator, while ‘Uttarayanam’ denotes a six-month period during which the Sun rises North-East towards the Equator.
The ‘Devas’ are said to be sleeping during this period and hence auspicious events such as Weddings and Upanayanams are not conducted during Aadi.
Tamil months are named on the Nakshatras (Stars) that prevail during Full Moon Day or ‘Pournami.’ In the month of Chittirai, the Full Moon occurs on the day of ‘Chittirai’ star, ‘Vaikasi’ during ‘Visaka,’ and ‘Aashada’ in ‘Aadi’ and so on.
The Aadi Velli (Friday) and Aadi Chevvai (Tuesday) are of great significance to women. ‘Varalakshmi Pooja’ is an important ritual dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi performed on a Friday during Aadi.
Some important festivals celebrated in this month are as follows:
Aadi Pirappu: The first day of this month is a special day for newly-wed couples.
Aadi Amavasai: The New Moon Day dedicated to ancestors
Aadi Pooram marks the birth of Andal, one of the 12 great Alwars of Vaishnavism. Some Temples conduct special Poojas on this day. Special among them are Srivilliputhur Andal Temple, about 55 Kms from Madurai, Shri Parthasarathy Swamy Temple in Triplicane or ‘Thiruvallikeni’ in Chennai and Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam in Thiruchirapalli District.
The 10th day is celebrated as Aadi Pooram day where ‘Thirukalyanam’ (The Divine marriage of the God and the Goddess) is conducted. Special pujas are also conducted on this day. It is believed that if unmarried girls worship Goddess Andal on the 10th day of Adi Pooram Festival, they will get married soon.
Aadi Pooram is celebrated as ‘Valaikappu Festival’ in Temples subscribing to Shaivism with glass bangles offered to Goddess Ambal (Shakthi) and then distributed to devotees. Pregnant women usually wear glass bangles, the sound of which is said to protect them from evil forces.
Obeisance to Lakshmi
Varalakshmi Pooja is usually held on the Friday before Pournami (conducted during the month of Shravan by Telugu, Kannada, Marathi speaking people). Known as ‘Varalakshmi Vratam,’ the Pooja is equivalent to worshipping ‘Ashtalaksmi,’ or the Eight Forms of Mahalakshmi.
The Eight forms of Lakshmi are ‘Adi Lakshmi’ (Primeval or Maha), ‘Dhana Lakshmi’ (Wealth), ‘Dhanya Lakshmi’ (Food or Agricultural Wealth), ‘Gaja Lakshmi’ (Animal Wealth), ‘Santhana Lakshmi’ (Children), ‘Veera Lakshmi’ (Courage), ‘Vijaya Lakshmi’ (Victory) and Vidya Lakshmi (Knowledge).
Some devotees have alternate names such as ‘Aishwarya Lakshmi’ (Wealth), ‘Saubhagya Lakshmi’ (Prosperity), ‘Rajya Lakshmi’ (For Rulers) and ‘Varalakshmi’ (Boons).
Aadi Perukku or Padinettam Perukku is celebrated on the eighteenth day of this Tamil month. This Festival is peculiar to all the perennial river basins of Tamil Nadu, major lakes and other water source areas.
Aadi Karthigai is a Festival dedicated to Lord Murugan.
Puthukku Paal: It is common among many Hindu to offer milk to snakes at snake pits and seek protection. ‘Naga Panchami’ is the name of the Festival, occurring during the Tamil month of Aadi and on the Fifth Day of Shravan.
|Important Days in Tamil Month of Aadi|
Saturday, July 16: Karka Sankranti, Maha Ekadashi
Sunday, July 17: Pradosham
Tuesday, July 19: Pournami Vratam
Wednesday, July 20: Vyasa Pooja. Pournami
Thursday, July 21: Shravana Vratam
Saturday, July 23: Sankatahara Chaturthi
Thursday, July 28: Karthikai Vratam
Saturday, July 30: Kamika Ekadashi
Monday, August 1: Masik Shivaratri
Tuesday, August 2: Aadi Amavasya
Wednesday, August 3: Varsha Ritu, Amavasya
Saturday, August 6: Chaturthi Vratam, Aadi Pooram
Monday, August 8: Naga Panchami, Shravana Somwara Vratam, Shashti Vratam
Friday, August 12: Varalakshmi Vratam
Sunday, August 14: Shravana Putrada Ekadashi