What is Aadi Perukku?
Aadi 18/Pathinettam perukku is the name of a festival that is celebrated in south India, especially Tamilnadu. It falls on the 18th day in Aadi, the 4th month in the Tamil calendar. It is also called Aadi Perukku. The word ‘Perukku’ means ‘rising’ in Tamil. Here, it refers to the overflowing of the Kaveri river during the monsoon season due to the copious rains. It is usually celebrated near water bodies like river banks, lakes, water tanks, and wells. People take a bath in the waterbody and worship the Goddess or Amman, who represents the Kaveri river. Aadi Perukku 2021 falls on August 02, 2021.
Significance of Aadi 18
This festival is very important for those who do farming and others who are dependent on the monsoons and the rivers for their livelihood. Water sustains all life and is very essential for a bountiful harvest. Hence, this festival offers an opportunity to thank nature and the water goddesses who represent abundance and fertility. There are special Poojas and prayers at goddess temples. People pray to Varuna, the rain god, and the Kaveri river for a good harvest, plentiful water, and a good monsoon.
On the day of Aadi Perukku, people, along with friends and relatives, make their way to the nearest riverbank or waterbody. A special lamp called Maavilakku is made using flour and jaggery. Many kinds of rice like coconut rice, tamarind rice, sesame rice, sweet Pongal, and curd rice are prepared and taken along. The Maavilakku is kept on mango leaves, along with turmeric, flowers, and a yellow thread. Women light the lamps and float them along with the mango leaves and other things in the river.
In some places in Tamilnadu, a newly-wed couple is invited to the girl’s home, and the son-in-law is given some gifts on this day. Some people add a gold coin to the bride’s thali or mangalsutra. In the month of Aadi, newly-wed girls have to stay at their parent’s homes. Some scientific reasons lie behind this practice.
Aadi 18 Pooja – Ingredients
- Kumkum and turmeric
- Yellow rope/Manjal kavuni
- Raw rice and jaggery
- Coconut, nuts, and betel leaves
- Bananas and other fruits
- Blouse piece, new sari or girl’s dress
- A mirror
- Gold jewelry, bangles, small black bangle
- A lemon
- Banana leaf to keep neivedyam
- Oil, ghee, incense sticks, camphor, dhoop
- Ingredients for making variety rice items and sundal
How to celebrate Aadi Perukku/Aadi 18 at Home
On the day before Aadi Perukku, wash the lamps and keep them ready with turmeric, kumkum, oil, wicks, etc. Clean the entire house and keep kumkum and turmeric dots on the doors and windows after wiping them clean. Make sesame powder, Puliyodharai paste, coconut rice mix, etc., for making various rice items the following day. At night, draw a kolam/rangoli. Use rice flour paste or rangoli powder.
On the day of Aadi Pathinettu/Perukku, wake up around 5 am, bathe, and prepare the things for the Pooja. The neivedyam has to be prepared before 6 – 7 am. You can check the Panchangam for an auspicious time too. Adorn the pooja room with flowers. Make 2 manjal pillayar, one as Ganesha and one as Amman, and keep them on a wooden plank. On the sides, keep two lighted lamps. Place all this inside or in front of your Pooja room. For making the manjal pillayar, take a tablespoon of turmeric powder, and some water. Make two small cones. Keep a Kumkum dot and place a coconut, betel leaves, betel nuts, yellow rope, flowers, and fruits on a banana leaf or plate, before the manjal pillayar. Keep kumkum, turmeric, sandal powder/tablet, bangles, mirror, lemon, gold jewelry, blouse piece, new dress/sari, small black bangle on another plate.
Fill water to the brim in a bowl (symbolizing Kaveri water). Mix jaggery and raw rice in a small bowl for the neivedyam. Light the lamps and do the Pooja (show dhoop, deep, and arati). After the Pooja, tie the yellow rope on your neck on your own. For small girls, tie the rope on the hands. Take the manjal pillayar, mix some water, and put the black bangle, flowers, lemon, etc., and pour all of them on a tree or in a plant pot. Take the lemon after a while, and use it for cooking.
At an auspicious time in the afternoon, do the Pooja with 5 rice varieties, pepper vadai, and sundal.
Aadi month 2021 is from July 17 – August 16.