Fairs & Festivals of Tamil Nadu
in Tamil Nadu are celebrated with great pomp and gaiety. Some of the
prominent festivals celebrated here are, Pongal, Kanthuri, Chithrai,
Mahamagam and many more.
¤ The Harvest Festival 'Pongal'
Pongal, known as the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu, is one of the
most widely celebrated festivals in Tamil Nadu. This festival is
celebrated to extend tribute to the Sun, Nature and the Cattle wealth
for helping farmers with a rich harvest and prosperity. The
traditional dish of 'Pongal' i.e. boiling rice with jaggery and milk,
is prepared at every home. On the day of Pongal, families gather
around a new earthen pot, at dawn time. As the pot of milk boils over,
signifying prosperity, a shout of "Pongalo Pongal" fills the
air. This thanks- giving festival is celebrated on the first day of
the Tamil Month Thai (Middle of January).
¤ Chithirai Festival at Madurai
The venue of Chithirai Festival is the famous Madurai temple, 500
kms. from Chennai. This festival starts from the beginning of the
Tamil month Chithirai, and ends on the tenth day of the month. Madurai
presents a spectacular re-enactment of the marriage of the Pandiyan
princess Meenakshi to Lord Sundareswarar. One can witness an ancient
legend unfold right before one's eyes as Lord Vishnu rides to his
sister's wedding on gleaming real-gold horse chariot. The celebration
is filled with excitement and enthusiasm.
¤ Dance Festivals At Mamallapuram
The Dance Festival starts on the 25th of December every year and is
held on all Saturdays. There are open air stages build around 13
centuries ago. The incredible monolithic rock sculptures of the
Pallavas are situated next to the sea in this ancient city of
Mamallapuram. This event is a treat for those who love dance. Bharatha
Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Odissi dance performances are
presented by the best of classical dancers.
¤ The Natyanjail Dance Festivals
This festival starts from the day of Mahashivarathri for 5 days at
Chidambaram which is situated along the coast of the Bay of Bengal, 75
kms. south of Pondicherry. The temple city of Chidambaram pays special
tribute to Lord Nataraja the 'Cosmic dancer'. The temple is set in a
truly divine atmosphere. The Chidambaram's gold-roofed temple, with
pillars, depict Lord Nataraja in 108 poses from Bharatha Natyam, Tamil
Nadu's classical dance.
¤ The Mahamagam Festival
Mahamagam festival is a holy festival that brings one to Kumbakonam
once in 12 years, the city of temples that gets its name from "Kumbha",
the divine pot. According to the legends, Brahma, the creator, held a
pot containing nectar and the seed of creation. Shiva. in the form of
a hunter shot an arrow at the pot, consequently spilling the nectar
into the famous Mahamagam tank at the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple.
¤ The Aurbathimoovar Festival
The word 'Arubathimoovar' literally refers to the 63 saints of Shiva
glorified for leading worthy lives of devotion and penance. Bronze
figures of these 63 saints decorate the magnificent Kapaliswar Temple
at Mylapore, Chennai. Once, every year, they are carried in a colorful
procession through the streets of Mylapore.
¤ The Saral Vizha ( Kuttalm or Courtallm )
This festival is nothing more than a celebration of a simple, daily
ritual bathing. and indeed, a bath at the picturesque Courtallam
waterfalls is no ordinary event. The healing waters of the roaring
Courtallam are famous for their medicinal properties.
¤ The Kanthuri Festival
The Kanthuri festival is truly a secular festival, where devotees
gather at the shrine of saint Quadirwali. It is believed to do equal
good to people of all faiths. One of the descendants of the Saint is
chosen as a Peer or spiritual leader and is honored with offerings.
The tenth day of the festival, is the day when Saint's tomb is
anointed with sandalwood and later the holy sandal paste, famous for
its healing powers, is distributed to everyone.