About Arudra Darshan
The occasion of Arudra Darshan highlights Lord Shiva’s enormous capabilities and powers. Arudra Darshan is observed in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January) and falls on the full moon night of the month. This normally occurs when the Tiruvadirai (Arudra) star rules over the day, and it also coincides with the longest night of the year. The Arudra star represents the golden red flame, which symbolizes the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva as ‘Nataraj’; while the entire Universe is said to have originated from the sound of his ‘Damaru’ (small two-headed drum).
Significance of Arudra Darshan
All Shiva temples celebrate the occasion of Arudra Darshan on a grand scale, especially those, where the image of ‘Nataraj’ as the dancing Shiva is installed. The festival is a major occasion of celebration in the Shiva temple located in the city of Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, where there is a shrine dedicated solely to Lord Nataraj. The festivities observed in the temple reach a fever pitch when the procession of Lord Nataraj is taken out, since it is considered highly auspicious and beneficial to catch a glimpse of the Lord on this day. The entire duration of the day is spent in Pujas and rituals conducted in the temple. Innumerable people also throng the temple for having a holy bath within the precincts of the temple. After completion of the Pujas, a special dish known as ’Kali’ is distributed as ‘Prasadam’ to the devotees.