Festivals


Month Festival - Details
Chitra (April - May) An important festival in kanchipuram during this month is the Thiruvatara Uthsavam at the Arulalaperumal temple, also known as Varadaraja Temple, marking the Avatar of Shri Varadaraja on the Hastra star. The Lord is believed to have manifested himself before Brahma on a sacrificial altar. The important feature of this festival is that on the full-moon day of this month, i.e., Chitra Pournami, Lord Varadaraja is taken in procession to the banks of the river Palar for the Nadathari Utsavam. People throng to witness the Brahma Aradhana or Brahma's worship of Lord Varadaraja. This is re-enacted on this occasion.
Vaigasi (May-June) The Vaigasi festival is important at the Arulalaperumal temple. The Brahmotsavam is observed for ten days in this month on a spectacular scale. An epigraph of the 14th century mentions the routes for the procession of the deity during the Vaigasi festival. The Garudotsavam on the third day is especially important in this temple. The epigraph mentions the procession of the deity on those ten days on different Vahanas like Simha (Lion) Amsa (Swan), Hanumantha, (Monkey) Aswam (Horse), Gajam (Elephant) and Yali to Gangaikondan mandapa.
Ani (June-July) Kodai Utsavam or the summer festival, the Thiruppallandu Sirappu and the Jyeshthabhisheka of the Utsava images were conducted in Ani as mentioned in the Pandya and Vijayanagara epigraphs.
Adi (July-August) Epigraphic details tell us about the Thiruvadipuram festival in some of the Vaishnava temples, is conducted in Adi. Gajendra moksha is also celebrated on the full moon day in the Tamil month of Adi. This is mentioned in an epigraph dated A.D.1592.
Avani (August-September) The Pavitrosavam is an important festival observed in all Vishnu temples in the Tamil month of Avani. The Gods are decorated with pavitramala or purificatory garlands made of silk thread. The main significance of this is to obtain expiation for the sins of omission and commission and other shortcomings in the daily worship and other religious rites performed in the temples throughout the year. The Shri Jayanti or birthday of Krishna on the day of the star Rohini also occurs in Avani.
Purattasi (Septemper-October) In this month the grand Navaratri festival is celebrated for nine days. In the Arulalaperumal temple, both Varadaraja and his consort Perundevi Thayar are brought in procession to the 100-pillared mandapam on the Mahanavami day. Before being taken on a procession, an abhishekam or holy bath is performed for the deities in the mandapam of the Thayar shrine.
Aipasi (October-November) In this month, besides Deepavali, the festivals for the Mudal-Alwars and Manavala Mahamuni are observed. The inscriptional record of 1582 A.D. clearly mentions about the Manavala Mahamuni Aipasi-Mula-Sirappu. The festival is conducted on his birth anniversary. The honours for this are sent from the main shrine. On these days, Arulalapperumal is brought out and bathed with 81 kalasas or pots, and offerings are made.