Madurai Festivals

by Dr.Vasudevan Ganapathy On 28/02/2014 - 12:25 PM

Madurai Festivals

PONGAL FESTIVAL( Januvary)

Pongal or the Harvest Festival. it  is celebrated  in the mon th  of janvary by way of paying tribute to the Sun, Nature and cattle for helping them with a rich harvest.it is 3 days festival.it  celebrated with great pomp and splendour.Bogi is celebrated the first day. Homes are given a fresh lick of paint and old articles are removed. The second day is Pongal, the main festival. Sugarcanes, Pongal (a sweet variety of rice) and festoons of mango leaves mark this auspicious day.Third Day is Mattu pongal . On this day people pay tribute to the cattle for bringing in prosperity.

Activiteis: Bullock cart Riding, Cooking Pongal, Jallikattu

Jallikattu(Taming the Bull)

 Allaganallur is the most popular sport in Tamil Nadu is part of the pongal celebrations.‘Jallikattu’ was held across Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations here. This gave of valour is held in the villages with great pomp and splendor though only as a popular sport. People from the neighbouring villages throng the open grounds to watch man and beast pitting their strength against each other and the bull-taming sport, held during the harvest festival.

CHITHIRAI FESTIVAL( April/May)

t is celebrated every year on the Full moon day of the Tamil Month Chithirai. (April/May).Legend says that Lord Vishnu, as Alagar, rode on a golden horse to Madurai to attend the celestial wedding of Goddes Meenakshi with Lord Sundareswarar (Lord Siva). This festival is marked by solemnity and serenity.

Pattabhishekam

The ‘pattabhishekam' (coronation) ceremony of Goddess Meenakshi was performed amid chanting of hymns on the eighth day of Chithirai festival at Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple here on Friday. The ceremony began with several rites after which ‘abishekam' was performed to the diamond crown of deity, followed by ‘deeparadhana.'

Scepter Receiving

In this festival on Friday, the power to rule was passed from Lord Sundareswarar to Goddess Meenakshi, who would rule till the Tamil month of ‘Aavani' when it would again revert to Lord Sundareswarar.

Meenakshi Thirukalyanam

Meenakshi Thirukalyanam or Meenatchi Thirukkalyanam is the divine marriage of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar (Goddess Parvathi and Lord Shiva). Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Thirukalyanam is a major annual festival celebrated at the Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple during the twelve daysChithirai Brahmotsavam Festival on the Tamil month of Chithirai (April – May).

Car Festival

The processional deities of Lord Sundareswarar and his consort Goddess Piriyavidai were mounted on the decorated Big Thaer (temple car), while Goddess Meenakshi was taken in the Small Thaer. Amid chanting of vedic hymns by the temple priests,

Alagar Entering in to vaigai River

Alagar is travelling to Madurai by hiding himself from the robbers and also the security persons (Because he have dressed like a robber). So he was late by one day to his sister's wedding. When he was crossing the river Vaigai people told his that His sister got married without his presence.He got angry on this and knowing this Lord Meenakshi and Shiva also came to Vaigai river to explain his about the situation. He gave all the gifts he brought to Meenakshi and Shiva for their wedding to them in a Mandabam (A Small building) in the middle of river vaigai and returned back to Alagar Hill without entering Madurai.

Festival Of Cradle

During the festival the deities - Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar (Lord Siva) are taken in procession to a mirror chamber. For nine days they are on a swing, which rocks gently.


AVANI THIRUVIZHA (Avanimoolam Festival)(September)

This festival during September celebrates the coronation of Lord Sundareswarar (Lord Siva). A “Lila” or play is performed where the temple priest recite the stories of Lord Siva in 64 miracles, which protected the city of Madurai from adversity

Navarathri ( Nine nights) festival

This festival is held in honour of Goddess Meenakshi in all her forms, which embody fury, compassion and wisdom. During this nine day festival, Goddess Meenakshi is offered nine varieties of rice meals and nine varieties of flowers

VAIKASI VISAKAM

Vaikasi Visakam is observed as the birthday of Lord Subramanya Swamy or Murugan.According to Hindu Puranas there were three asura (demon) brothers, Soorapadman, Singamuhan and Tarakan and they attained great powers through deep penance. They were disturbing the Devas who pleaded Lord Siva for help. As a result, Lord Shiva opened his Third Eye (Nettrikkan) - the one seen in his forehead and emanated six sparks of fire. Two of the five cosmic elements - Agni (god of fire) and Vayu (god of air), and the Devas carried these sparks to the Ganga who in turn carried them to a stream called Saravana Poigai. In the stream, the fire sparks formed six divine male babies who were cared by six young girls called Karthigai Pengal. Goddess Parvathi embraced these kids and they united to one with six faces and twelve hands. Consequently Lord Shanmugan (meaning one with six faces) emerged on the full moon day (Pournami in Tamil) in the month of Vaikasi. He is the embodiment of pure perception and divine knowledge.

Lord Murugan thus appeared for the special purpose of demolishing the evil spirits. With the Sakthi Vel given by Goddess Parvathi, Subramanya (Murugan) fought the Asuras. Eventually, on the request of Soorapadman’s wife, the Lord agreed to release her husband and made the demons as His flag (Seval Kodi- the flag with a cock emblem) and His vehicle - peacock (Mayilvahanam). The war took place in Thiruchendur and the demon, Tharakasura, was killed in Tirupporur near Chennai. To celebrate this, Devendra arranged the marriage of his daughter Deivanai with Lord Murugan. The battle with the demon is the story of the Kanda Sashti fast.

Hence, Vaikasi Visakam is observed at all Lord Murugan Temples in India as well as overseas to celebrated the victory of Lord Muruga over the demons as well as the Birthday of the Lord.