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Krithigai is a star in Hindu astrology. Krithigai Pooja is celebrated on the day when this star falls in the Tamil month of Thai. It is considered very propitious by Lord Muruga or Skanda’s devotees. Lord Muruga was taken care of by the Karthigai women when he was born as six babies. Lord Shiva bestowed on them the status of stars in reward for their service. Krithigai comes once every month, but Aadi Krithigai (July- Aug) and Thai Krithigai (Jan- Feb) are very special as they fall in the beginning month of Uttarayana (northward movement of the sun) and Dakshinayana Punyakalam (holy period when the sun moves southwards) respectively. If possible, worship Lord Muruga on these special days at least and gain His blessings.
Lord Muruga was born under the Karthigai Nakshatra (star). According to Skanda Purana, Lord Muruga took birth from the third eye of Lord Shiva as six flames. Agni (god of fire) and Vayu deva (god of wind) carried the six Flames of Lord Muruga to the Saravana Poigai (pond). Kaarthigai Pengal (maidens) took care of the six babies obtained from the Lotus flowers in Saravana Poigai.
It is believed that Lord Shiva, father of Lord Muruga, promised all his devotees, that the wishes of his devotees would become fruitful if they worship Lord Muruga on the special days of Krithigai. Worship of Lord Muruga has taken a prominent place, especially among the Tamils, living across the globe. The celebrations of Thai Krithigai has been dated back to the pre-Vedic era, where Lord Muruga was worshipped with enormous pomp and piety by various Gods, Demigods, and sages.
The entire month of Thai is filled with enormous celebrations. A general saying in Tamil is that “Thai Piranthal Vazi Pirakkum,” which translates as ‘the month of Thai is the harbinger of prosperity’. The worship of Lord Muruga has always been accompanied by enormous piety, and the devotees are said to have intense and fierce love towards the Almighty. They perform severe penance and meditation to clear the obstacles in their lives. It is also evident that many people would come and pay their tributes to the Lord, for the fructification of their prayers.
Worship of Lord Muruga is always connected with fierce devotion, where the prayers and ceremonies mark the extent of the love of the devotees towards the Lord. Many devotees fast on this day and take Kavadi, Pal Kudam and do padayatra (walk) to Lord Muruga Temples. Chanting of Lord Muruga hymns and playing of percussion instruments by devotees can be seen in temples. Special Yagnas will take place in temples. Many people would fast on this day, and worship the Lord for days together, just consuming minimum staple food comprising just milk, fruits, and boiled lentils.
The sacred scriptures prescribe fire ceremony, Abishekam (hydration ceremony), Pooja/Archana (Light and Sound ceremony), Yantra and Mantra (special sounds) as the ways to offer your prayer to the divine. Out of these, fire ceremony is the most evolved spiritual technology on earth to connect with the divine beings. Participate in the remedial services to clear your karma and receive the blessings.