Aadi is the 4th month of the Tamil calendar, which falls between mid-July to mid-August. This month marks the commencement of dawn or nighttime for the Devas (demi-gods), known as Dakshinayana Punyakalam. The month is considered extremely auspicious for performing religious activities and worshipping the divine, especially the goddesses. Hence, this month is generally avoided for any auspicious ceremony such as wedding etc. and is exclusively dedicated to the worship of the Mother Goddess.
Following are the important days in the month of Aadi, which are celebrated as festivals by Hindus in South India:
Aadi Pirappu or Aadi Pandigai – The first day of Aadi month is observed as Aadi Pirappu. The day is marked with many auspicious events and visit to temples. Huge kolams (patterns) are drawn at the doorstep to welcome the goddess and special dishes such as coconut milk payasam (pudding), vada (savory dumpling) are offered to the divine. The day is especially important for newly wed couples. As a tradition, the girl’s house invites the new son-in-law to their house and the couple is gifted with new clothes & presents along with a huge feast.
Aadi Chevvai –Tuesdays in the month of Aadi is known as Aadi Chevvai and is considered auspicious to perform Poojas and other rituals to the goddess.
Aadi Kirthigai – This day is dedicated to celebrating the warrior-god Muruga. Aadi Kirthigai is celebrated on the day when the Moon is in the star Krittika, during the month of Aadi. Special Pooja and Homa are performed at Muruga temples.
Aadi Amavasya – The New Moon day in the month of Aadi, known as Aadi Amavasya, is devoted to offering Tarpanam, Shraddha and other rituals to ancestors. .
Aadi Pooram – The day when the Moon is in the star Pooram (Purva Phalguni) during the month of Aadi is celebrated as Aadi Pooram. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Andal (one of the 12 Alwars of Vaishnavism). This festival is held for 10 days and the tenth day is revered as Thirukalyanam (marriage of Andal to Lord Vishnu). It is believed that unmarried girls who attend this ceremony shall get married soon. In the Shiva temples, the day is celebrated as Valaikappu (baby shower) for Goddess Ambal, when glass bangles are adorned on the goddess and then distributed to the devotees. It is believed that these bangles can bless you with progeny and offer protection from evil eye.
Varalakshmi Pooja or Vratham – Varalakshmi Pooja is worshipping the Goddess of wealth – Lakshmi in her form of Varalakshmi. Offering your prayers to Lakshmi in this form can gain you the blessings of all the eight forms of Lakshmi – wealth, food, knowledge, progeny, strength, vehicle & comforts, victory and prosperity. According to Skanda Purana, Lord Shiva himself suggested this Pooja to his consort Goddess Parvati to obtain a blissful and prosperous life. Hence, the Pooja is celebrated with great fervor and devotion by the devotees to gain all 8 types of wealth and lead a happy life.
Aadi Perukku – Also known as Pathinettam Perukku, the day is celebrated on the eighteenth day of the Aadi month at Cauvery riverbanks. Revered as a festival of fertility, people celebrate the beginning of monsoon and commence sowing, rooting and planting of seeds in their fields. ‘Chitrannam’ or several colorful and flavored dishes such as lemon rice, coconut rice, sweet pongal (rice pudding), curd rice etc. are offered to the River Goddess.
Puthukku Paal – Most of the devotees visit snake pits during the month of Aadi and offer milk to the snakes, which are revered as Snake-gods. It is believed that performing Abishekam (hydration ritual) to the snake idols with milk can relieve one from Naga Dosha (snake afflictions). Also, some people apply the mud from the snake pit on their body, as it is believed to cure health ailments. Celebrate the divine month of Aadi with special Poojas and rituals to the Mother Goddess to receive her graceful blessings for you and your loved ones!