Sunday, April 26, 2009

Important festivals this April 2009 :)

இம்மாத முக்கியமான சில பண்டிகைகள் :)
3rd April 2009- Sri Ram Navami
Sreeramanavami is celebrated as Lord Rama’s birthday. Special poojas are conducted in temples and also at various venues. At home we celebrate Sreeramanavami by preparing vella avil (sweet poha), vadai and panakam(refreshing jaggery drink) and neer more(spicy butter milk) and are offered as neyvedyam(prasadam). Many people prepare payasam also.

8th April 2009 - Pankuni Uththiram
the month of Pankuni, the full moon day coincides with the day of the star Uthiram and is celebrated as Pankuni Uthiram. Pankuni Uthiram is celebrated as the day Lord Muruga wedded Devayani and hence is an important festival in all Muruga temples. It is also believed to be the day of Lord Shiva’s wedding with Parvathy and Lord Ranganatha’s wedding with Ranganayaki Thayar and Lord Srirama’s wedding with Sita. It also celebrated as Lord Ayyappa’s birthday in Sabarimala. Special poojas are conducted in the temples. At home it is observed by offering panakam(refreshing jaggery drink) and Sweet Payar(green gram dhal) to Lord Muruga and partaking the prasadam.

14th April 2009 – Vishu or Tamil New Year
Vishu is the New Year day for people of Kerala and also Tamil Nadu. The important ritual on Vishu day is the seeing of Vishukani on the morning of Vishu followed by the eldest member of the family giving Kaineettams (gifts of money) to all the younger members of family. Then of course follows the special vishu lunch (called as sadhyam in kerala).

27th April - Akshaya Thrithiya
Akshaya Thrithiya falls on the third day of the bright half of Vaishakh month (April-May).The word akshaya means eternal or that which never diminishes and hence it is believed that any project initiated on this day will reach great heights. Akshaya Thrithiya is celebrated in the famous Guruvayoor temple in Kerala as the birthday of Lord Balarama. It is believed to be the day when Lord Krishna bestowed wealth and prosperity on his childhood friend, Kuchela(Sudhama) who went to meet him with a packet of avil (poha). Many people symbolically buy something new on this day. More recently, there is a new craze among people to buy gold on this day so that they will be able to buy more gold in the coming days of the year which is being fully exploited by the jewellers.

1 comment:

  1. Dear mami, Thank you for reminding us of the festivals in April.

    For the record, in Tamil Iyer custom, there are some variations.

    For Rama Navami, the neivedyam is panagam, neer mor and vadai paruppu (made with soaked moong dal, similar to kosumalli). All very suitable for the high heat of April!

    For Tamil New Year's day on April 14th, the vishukani ritual is not observed. It is a tharpana day, so the neivedyam is usually uLutham vadai and payasam. The maangai-vepampoo pachadi is essential. Other additional sweets such as poLi are optional, based on family custom. I recall that the new year's day was viewed with a sigh of relief by the women, as it is the last festival for some months to come, until the festival season starts again in Aadi (mid July), with either Aaadi pandigai (most districts) or garuda panchami nonbu in North Arcot dist, depending on family custom.

    The other festivals you mention are more temple festivals and the home observance is minimal.