Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Festival season

Came back after a trip to native. Thiruvadhirai (Arudhra darisanam) came on the same day of Bogi this time.(Normally it will come in the month of december) In our native, we used to celebrate Thiruvadhirai well (for 3-4 days). On the day before Thiruvadhirai, Swami Kalyanam will take place. On the festival day, Pattu suthudhal will take place i.e. We people will circumambulate the Pipal tree near the temple 12 times carrying Swami's (Sundareswarar and Meenakshi amman) urchava moorthi's in Maramanai (similar to palanquin), dancing twice in each round according to the taala music (Tavil and nadhaswaram). It will give pain in the shoulders with blood clot. Though it is nice and will be forgotten.

Then swami's will be carried around the streets. On the way there will be some kattalai's (distribution of sundal etc at some houses). People used to sing, dance there and then returns to the temple. While returning, there is a ritual, First Meenakshi amman will enter the temple and lock the door inside (due to some anger). Then Sundareswarar will ask the Devi to open the door.(People at either side of the door will sing the conversation). Then Sundareswarar will enter the temple breaking the door. After that prasadam distribution will take place.

The next day follows Thozhi pengal (called as thozhi pongal). Swami's will be carried around the streets during evening time. Kattalai's will be there now also (now it will be like sundal, puttu, puli aval...no need for dinner :) ). This will get over after returning to the temple and prasadam distribution.

The next day morning Manja neerattam will be there. Swami's will be carried around the streets and youth people (mainly boys) will be coming along with them. People will pour Manja neer (in some houses they will keep cold water for fun) on those people. In the night (Peria Maramanai) Swami's will be carried around the streets starting after 9-10 pm and will get over by 1-2 pm. This brings the wonderful festival season to an end.

As there is a saying in tamil, "Aadi azhachu varum, Thai thodachu pogum" which means the month of Aadi brings many festivals after it and after the month of Thai, we will not have much festivals.

I dont have much to say about pongal celebrations. Though it is also celebrated well with some relatives coming to our house and had kalandha saadham's (Sakkarai pongal, Thengai saadham, Puliyanchaadam, Elumichai saadham, Vadaam and my favourite Thayir saadham) along with Karumbu (Sugarcane).

Most of the days, went to River (Bhavani river running just behind my house) with friends and had good swimming and fun.

Waiting for next season ahead!!!

- NSR.


Karthik said...

The saying "Aadi azhachu varum, Thai thodachu pogum" is very true no? I was also thinking about the same thing although I didn't know about this saying. Our festivals actually start with Krishna Jayanthi. Vinayaga Chathurthi, Navarathiri (includes Saraswati Poojai, Vijayadasami), Deepavali, Kaarthigai and Pongal follow. Then there is a silence of 7 months (if you discard the Varsha pirappu in between).
Our holidays are also similarly aligned. In fact even in the UK, they found through a survey that Jan 27th is the date people are in their lowest spirits. The memories of Christmas fade and people almost forget their holidays they had a month or so ago and think a full year of work ahead.
BTW, which native place are you talking about? And why is this Meenakshi Sundereswarar thingie happening at this time of the year. In Madurai "Azhagar Athula erangarathu" takes place in May right?

Subbaraman said...

I am talking about Sathyamangalam..There is a Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar temple in our place (Agraharam). This event will take place here during Thiruvadhirai.
Azhagar Aathula eranguthal will take place during the month of Chithirai.