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Top 7 Festivals of Tamil Nadu You Should Know About And Observe!

Festivals of Tamil Nadu

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Tamil Nadu, a state of magnificent art & culture, veiled in vibrant colors, draped in bright silks, bordered with beautiful rangolis & flowers, grand temple celebrations and not to forget the amazing festival food! Here are seven festivals of Tamil Nadu you should know about and experience!

Festivals of Tamil Nadu

1. PONGAL

Pongal is the most important HARVEST FESTIVAL OF INDIA, celebrated by the state of Tamil Nadu. The grand celebration goes for 4 days and is generally celebrated in mid-January. The motive of this festival is to thank the SUN GOD for showering energy towards their crops. The Sun God is honored by boiled ‘First rice of the season’. Pongal is also a delicious dish cooked for festivals.

A month before Pongal, the females of the houses, decorate the entrances with intricate rangolis known as kolam with rice and colored powder. This month of exonerating the houses is known as MARGALI.
The first day of Pongal, BHOGI, is to honor LORD INDRA, who blesses the agriculture with rain. As this day also demarcates of a new beginning, people leave something old and get something new. As the first day comes to an end, all that was gotten rid of is burnt in the bonfire at dawn.

For the forthcoming days, the horns of the buffaloes are camouflaged in vibrant colors. The second day is considered as the ‘main day’ of Pongal as it signifies the 10th month in the Tamil Calendar and is known as THAI PONGAL.

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MATTU PONGAL, the third day of this festival is for the cattle. The cows are adorned by bead & flower garlands and painted horns. They are fed Pongal & other delicacies and worshipped.

Kannum Pongal, the last day of this festival, when people visit each other’s houses, exchange gifts and join each other on the last day of this auspicious celebration. It is the day where the women of the house pray for the prosperity of their household by filling a turmeric leaf with small amounts of rice & other dishes cooked and pray. It is one of the beautiful festivals of Tamil Nadu. You can also read about festivals around the world.

Festivals of Tamil Nadu

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2. TAMIL NEW YEAR’S DAY OR PUTHANDU

Tamil New Year’s Day or Puthandu celebrated in mid-April. On the morning of the first day of the year, the entrances of the houses are embellished with beautiful kolams. As the season starts, fresh mangoes can be seen hanging and the flowers on the neem tree are full bloom. These two things are a symbol of prosperity and people celebrate this day with these to show their prosperity. The day continues with a bath and clothing oneself in new dresses and then visit the TEMPLE KANNI. The delicacy for this day is MAANGA PACHADI, a sweet & savoury dish made out of mangoes, jiggery and neem flowers. It is one of the most incredible festivals of Tamil Nadu.

Festivals of Tamil Nadu

Image Source: Wikimedia

3.  NATYANJALI DANCE FESTIVAL

Natyanjali Dance Festival celebrated to pay tribute to LORD NATARAJA, a depiction of LORD SHIVA. Natyanjali, ‘Natya’ means dance and ‘Anjali’ means offering. It is celebrated in the NATRANJA TEMPLE, Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. From all over India, thousands of dancers represent their unique dance forms like Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam, Kathakali, etc. on this day. Natyanjali dance festival is either celebrated in the month of February or March. On the day of Maha Shivratri, this festival begins and goes on for five days. With dancers all dressed up in their exotic traditional outfits which represent the rich and diverse culture of their forms, this festival glorifies the message of ‘UNITY IN DIVERSITY’, by bringing in so many traditions & culture together.

Festivals of Tamil Nadu

Image Source: Wikimedia

4. THAIPUSAM

Thaipusam the festival which celebrates the birth of the LORD SUBRAMANIAM, the younger son of Lord Shiva. It is celebrated on a full moon night in the month of Thai in the Tamil Calendar. On this day, people pray to the Lord with utmost faith and once granted, they keep up with the vows they made on the day of the festival.

This day is of penance is highlighted even more when the devotee takes the ‘Kavadi’. Wearing the ‘Pandaram’ the Kavadi bearer carries two pots, hanging on the two ends of a long stick which is carried on the shoulders. The pot contains rice, milk, fruits and other things the devotee wants to offer.

Festivals of Tamil Nadu

Image Source: Wikimedia

5. MAHAMAHAM FESTIVAL

Mahamaham Festival is celebrated once in 12 years in a town called Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu. It was last celebrated on 6th of March, 2004. According to the Tamil Calendar, Mahamaham is celebrated in the month of Mahi which lies between February and March. The reason behind its celebration once in 12 years is because, at this time the planet Jupiter enters the Leo constellation, which also happens once in 12 years. On this day, people from all around the world join this grandeur at ‘Mahamaham Tank’ and take a dip or bathe in the is celebrated once in 12 years in a town called Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu.

It was last celebrated on 6th of March, 2004. According to the Tamil Calendar, Mahamaham is celebrated in the month of Mahi which lies between February and March. The reason behind its celebration once in 12 years is because, at this time the planet Jupiter enters the Leo constellation, which also happens once in 12 years. On this day, people from all around the world join this grandeur at ‘Mahamaham Tank’ and take a dip or bathe in the Rive Cauvery, which is considered sacred, to purify their souls and wash away their sins.

Festivals of Tamil Nadu

Image Source: Wikimedia

6.  THIRUVAIYARU FESTIVAL

Thiruvaiyaru Festival is the music festival of Tamil Nadu, celebrated in the district of Thanjavur. This festival is in the honor of famous music composer Saint Thyagaraja and is celebrated every January on the Pushya Bahula Panchami day when the saint Thyagaraja attained Samadhi. Apart from the music, ritual and pujas are also performed near his Samidhi, on the banks of river Cauvery. Thiruvaiyaru Festival promotes Carnatic and Classical music and is globalized & celebrated all over the world.

Festivals of Tamil Nadu

Image Source: Wikimedia

7 . KARTHIGAI DEEPAM FESTIVAL

Karthigai Deepam Festival is the festival of lights and is celebrated for 10 days between November to mid-December. The name itself explains the meaning, ‘Karthigai’ is the name of the month according to the Tamil Calendar and ‘Deepam’ mean Lights. It is celebrated on the day when the Moon is aligned with the constellation Karthigai. This celebration means to keep away the negativities from life and welcome the positive things. It is believed that on this day, Lord Shiva was present on the Thiruvannamalai Hills and thus, it is marked by lighting a giant fire and people hail “Annamalaiyarku Arohara” at the top of their voice. It is one of the most amazing festivals of Tamil Nadu.

Festivals of Tamil Nadu

Image Source: Wikimedia

These are the Seven Festivals of Tamil Nadu that one shouldn’t miss if they happen to visit this south-eastern state of India, you will experience one of the best festivals of the Indian culture.

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