Tamil Nadu is a land rich in heritage and culture. Also, it suffers from no lack of opulence if any sort. Therefore, it is clear that when these two combine for festival, the gala that results are unlike any other. There are a lot of festivals round the year that are exclusive to Tamil Nadu, there are harvest festivals, dance festivals or those that are centred around the glamorous temples. One thing’s for certain, they never fall short of attractions, be it the gorgeous decor material, festivities or the grandiose cuisine exclusive to them. Bear with us a s we count down the top 7 of these, then hop over and get a taste for yourself!
1. Thiruvaiyaru Festival
This festival celebrates the universal language of the heart, and that is music. It is held in memoriam of the day when a certain sage by the name of Thyagraja attained Samadhi, and the location is along the Cauvery river in Thanjavur district. Thiruvaiyaru Festival, like music, is global in appeal and celebrates a lot of different styles. Its influence reaches far into countries like the USA and Nigeria. There is a huge gathering of people, and everyone gets together to the tunes at a pristine temple in Tamil Nadu.
2. Mahamaham Festival
Mahamaham festival sees one of the largest congregations of people from far and wide, celebrated as it is every once in a Hindu Yuga, or 12 years. It consists of a lot of plunging in water and taking purifying deluges in the tanks, rivers and shrine ponds that so surround it. It has astrological significance, and takes place when planet Jupiter enters constellation Leo.
Pongal is perhaps the most memorable festival of Tamil Nadu and is one that celebrates sound agricultural harvest. It pays tribute to a lot of Gods, the Sun God, Indra the ruler of Gods, and the cow is also worshipped. Highlights of the festival include food, decorations with organic material, new clothes and a lot of rituals exclusive to this time of the year in the state.
4. Tamil New Year
Tamil New Year is a festival marked with a lot of domestic cheer. The day is celebrated by making colourful decorations to embellish homes, and later food and other domestic objects hold special significance for the day. People wear new clothes, and worship and a plunge in the river are very significant. The plants of mango and Neem hold special significance too.
Thaipusam festival is one dedicated to the test of faith supreme in the Almighty. It is a festival dedicated to Lord Shiva, and there are devotees who walk barefoot through the streets carrying heavy loads or burning coals, sometimes one they have pierced into their body to carry. It tests their faith, as they are supposed to feel no pain even in such circumstances. It is very stirring to look at.
6. Natyanjali Dance Festival
Natyanjali Dance Festival celebrates dance as a means to get closer to the Lord Almighty. It takes place in one of the most picturesque temples of Tamil Nadu, etched in black, which celebrates dance as a sort of offering to the Gods. This is in perfect keeping with the South Indian tradition, one that has given birth to several famous Indian dance forms like Bharatnatyam and Katthak. Although in this festival, Kuchipudi is the one that is celebrated and the dancers dress up in their traditional gear for grand shows.
7. Karthigai Deepam
This is a fairly long festival that is celebrated in memoriam of Lord Shiva’s divine appearance in the hills, and the purpose is to invite good things to life and ward off the evil ones. Karthigai Deepam is celebrated around November-December and incorporates a lot of festival traditions like the giving and begetting of gifts, donning new clothes and widespread decorative procedures. The streets are adorned in beautiful lights, and the temples are one of the most beautiful things to watch.
Festivals in Tamil Nadu have always been a big affair, and will continue to be so. The number of temples and the faith in hearts of men keep the fire alive, and if you want to experience some really good times, make sure you don’t fail to drop by.