Thiru Karthigai Deepam, also knows as the festival of lights. This festival is celebrated every year in the Tamal month of Karthigai (between November and December). Karthikai Deepam falls on the day of the full moon of the month Karthigai, coinciding with the star Krithikai. The lamps are lit in front of the house in the morning and in the afternoon, throughout the month. On the day of Thirukarthikai, the whole house is decorated with oil lamps. This festival of lights indicates the elimination of darkness (Ignorance) and the improvement of light (Intelligence).
In Thirukarthigai, people clean their houses and draw kolams/rangoli in front of their house. The lamps are placed on the kolam. The Lamps are made with clay and is calld Agal. Before that, the lamps are placed in the pooja and lit. Deeparathana is made and the lamps are kept in different places of the house. The people of Tamil Nadu celebrate Karthigai Deepam for three days. Some celebrate the Deepavali festival. The number of lamps is doubled every day from the day of Diwali and ends with many lamps on the day of Karthigai Deepam.
Karthigai Deepam History:
Kaarthigai Deepam recalls the legend of Lord Muruga who took the form of six babies in a lake called “Saravana Poigai”. It was formed from Lord Shiva’s eyes as six flames. These six flames became six babies who were joined by the goddess Parvati (her mother) that day. Special rituals are organized for Lord Muruga on this day.
Significance of Karthigai Deepam
The special light is lit on the top of Thiruvannamalai Hill, which is Lord Shiva’s dwelling, called Agni Shetram or Agni Sthalam (one of the five aspects called Panchaboothams). This festival is called Tiruvannamalai Deepam.
Thiruvannamalai Karthikai Maha Deepam is a festival observed in the Tamil month of Karthikai in the famous temple of Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleshwara Temple in Tamil Nadu. It is celebrated at Kartikai Pournami, the day of the Full Moon in the month of Kaarthikai. This festival coincides with Krishikai nakshatram. In Thiruvannamalai, Maha Karthigai Deepam is celebrated for 10 days. It is popularly known as Karthikai Brahmotsavam.
On the first day of the Karthikai Deepam festival, the celebrations begin with Dwajarohanam. The procession of Lord Chandrasekhara swamy begins on the second day of the festival. Surya Vahana seva is performed on the third day. Kamadhenu vahana seva becomes the fourth day in Periya Nayagar. On the twelfth day, the Karthikai Deepam Festival comes to an excellent conclusion when the Lord Arunachaleshwara takes our pradakshina known as Girivalam.
It is also celebrated as the extension of Deepavali. Kartigai Deepam is observed with great pleasure and enthusiasm in other temples of Tamil Nadu. The festival takes place for three days in the state.
The Karthigai Deepam festival is celebrated as Vishnu Deepam at Lord Vishnu temples in Tamil Nadu. This festival is observed as Yanai Pandigai in the Mandyam Iyengar community in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.