Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu Festivals, Tamil Nadu Tour

Enjoy Tamil Nadu Festivals


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Tamil Nadu Festivals

Tamil Nadu is a land of temples and festivals. Festivals are not only religious occasions but also cultural and commercial land marks. The festivals are part of the life of the people. Festivals, fairs and cultural events add a note of vibrant character to the state. The festivals and fairs capture the essence of the rich traditions and culture of Tamil Nadu. The people celebrate the festivals on the basis of the Tamil Year. The Tamil year is divided into two periods of six months each. First is Uttarayanam, that is the period from mid Jan to mid July and second is Dakshinayanam, the period from mid July to mid January. Some of the famous festivals of Tamil Nadu are Tamil New Year, Chitra Pournami, Saral Festival, Summer Festival, Mango Festival, Silk Festival, Arumbavur Sculptor Fair, Dance Festival, Pongal, Thiruvaiyaru Music Festival, Natyanjali Festival and Karthigai Deepam.

Tamil New Year

Pudhu Varusha Pirappu or Tamil New Year is the most auspicious festival among all the Tamil festivals. This festival is celebrated in April, the month of Chittirai of the Tamil year in Thiruvallur in Tamil Nadu. The people celebrate the New Year by decorating the entrance with the colorful Kolam. The festoons of mango leaves or flowers are hung at the doorway. On this day, a lavish feast is also organized in which the pulses and cereals form part of the main menu.

Chitra Pournami

The Chitra Pournami festival is celebrated in the Thanjavur and Nagapattinam districts of Tamil Nadu. This festival is celebrated on the Chitra Pournami or full moon day in April, the month of Chittirai of the Tamil year. This festival is celebrated to welcome the spring season. On this day, the people make special offerings to please Chitragupta. According to Hindu mythology, Chitragupta, the chief accountant of Lord Yama or the God of Death, keeps a record of all the good and bad deeds of men. On the full moon day, the images of gods and goddesses from the temples in and around Madurai are taken to the bed of the river Vaigai, in colourful processions accompanied by the hundreds and thousands of people and musicians. It is delightful to watch the full moon shining on this day. This festival also marks the marriage of Meenakshi with Lord Shiva. Special puja is arranged at all the temples and people gather in large numbers to offer their prayers.

Saral Festival

When the water falls on the rocks, then tiny droplets are sprinkled into the air which give a fog-like appearance and is carried far away by the breeze. This phenomenon is known as Saral in Tamil. This is the only spa of its kind in the south. The Saral Festival is celebrated in Courtallam in the month of July. During the Saral Festival, the pilgrims came here from all over the country to participate in the ritualistic bathing. The falls are known for its therapeutic value. Various cultural programmes, competitions, fun and frolic are part of the Saral Festival.

Saral Festival, Tamil Nadu
Silk Festival

Silk Festival, Tamil Nadu

The Silk Festival is celebrated in the month of October in Kanchipuram. The Silk Festival showcases silk saris in all its resplendent glory. This festival highlights the master craftsmanship of the weavers of Kanchipuram. The saris in different hues and shades will take your breath away. This festival can be visited by anybody who appreciates the subtle elegance of silk saris and also a congregation of buyers and sellers.

Arumbavur Sculptor Fair

Arumbavur Sculptor Fair is organized in the Perambalur district in Tamil Nadu in the month of November. This fair is a tribute to the temple art and architecture and attracts sculptors from all over India who congregate to display their masterpieces. The prizes are given to the best sculptors to encourage the best talent.

Dance Festival

The Dance Festival is celebrated from November to March in Madurai, Mamallapuram and Thiruvannamalai. In this festival, the dancers and musicians from all over India and abroad come together to participate in the festival and enthrall the dance enthusiasts every year. Apart from classical dances, folk dances also find a place in the classical art form extravaganza. In Mamallapuram, the famous dancers from South and other parts of India perform on an open air stage with the incredible monoliths in the background. In Madurai, the dance festival is organized by the Tourism

Dance Festival, Tamil Nadu

Department for fifteen days. Various dancers from all over the country perform in this festival. In Thiruvannamalai, the dance festival is organized against the historic background of the Arunachala Temple.

Pongal, Tamil Nadu

Pongal is the important festival of Tamil Nadu. Pongal or the Harvest festival is celebrated all over Tamil Nadu in the month of January, the Thai month of the Tamil Year. This festival is celebrated to welcome the spring season on the occasion of the 'ascent' of the sun to the north and to pay tribute to the Sun, Nature and cattle for helping them with a rich harvest. This festival marks the coming of the spring season. This festival is celebrated for 3 days with great pomp and splendour. The first day is celebrated as Bhogi Pongal or the family festival. This day is dedicated to Lord Indra.

On this day, the people paint and decorate their homes and remove the old items from the house. The doorways are painted with vermilion and sandalwood paste with the colourful garlands of leaves and flowers. The boys of the village beat the little drums known as Bhogi Kottu. The second day is celebrated as Surya Pongal, the main festival. This day is dedicated to Lord Surya (Sun). Sugarcane, pongal and festoons of mango leaves mark the auspicious day. The women prepare the Pongal, rice cooked in milk and jaggery and offer it to sun. The friends also greet one another by asking whether rice is boiled. Mattu Pongal is celebrated as the third day. On this day, the people pay tribute to the cattle for bringing in the prosperity. The cattle are bathed, decorated and their horns are painted in bright colours. Mattu Pongal is also known as the Kanu Pongal, and on this day, the women pray for the welfare of their brothers. The main feature of the Pongal festival is the Jallikattu or Taming of the bull. Jallikattu is the most popular sport in Tamil Nadu. This game of bravery is held in the villages with great pomp and splendour. The people from the neighbouring villages gather in the open grounds to watch the man and beast putting the strength against each other.

Thiruvaiyaru Music Festival

Thiruvaiyaru Music Festival, also known as the Thyagaraja Aradhana Festival is celebrated in Thruvaiyaru, in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. Thiruvaiyaru is situated on the banks of the Kaveri river and known for the old Shiva temple, also known as the Panchanatheeshwar Temple. This town is also associated with the Saint Thyagaraja, who along with Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Sastri comprises the Trinity of Carnatic Music. The Thyagaraja Aradhana Festival is celebrated on the banks of the Kaveri river which has the Samadhi of the Saint Thyagaraja. This festival is attended by the various fans of the classical music and also delightful to watch the various musicians performing on the stage. The classical singers consider it as an honour to participate in this festival. They perform here inorder to gain the blessings of the saint Thyagaraja.

Natyanjali Festival

The Natyanjali Festival is celebrated in Chidambaram in the month of February. This festival starts from the day of Mahashivaratri and continues for about five days in Chidambaram. Chidambaram is situated along the coast of the Bay of Bengal, about 75 kms. south of Pondicherry. Natyanjali festival is jointly organised by the Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu, the Ministry Of Tourism, Government of India and the Natyanjali Trust, Chidambaram. The dancers from all over India come together to perform and to pay their tribute to the Lord Nataraja. According to Hindu mythology, the Lord Nataraja or Lord Shiva is also known as the Lord of Dances. The Natyanjali Dance Festival is designed to promote a universal message of "Unity in Diversity" through music and dance and to educate and entertain the audience.

Karthigai Deepam

Karthigai Deepam or the festival of lights is celebrated in Tamil Nadu in the month of November on Karthigai from the days of Tolkappiam. On this day, the people illuminate their house with a large number of flat earthen lamps and children fire crackers. There is great rejoicing all over Tamil Nadu. In some parts of Tamil Nadu, the Vaishnavites use a type of light prepared by themselves to illuminate their homes. It is called Pori Vaanam and is made of a stick called Kavattaik-kambu with cloth, cloth rope, saw-dust, konkani resin and Maruthankai. On this occasion, the parents send the elephant shaped lights 

Karthigai Deepam, Tamil Nadu

to their daughters. Karthigai synchronises with the full moon and people greet the deity with shouts of Annamalaiyarku Arohara. In a big copper urn, large quantities of high quality camphour ghee and wicks are placed and as the flame is lighted on the hill, the ignorance fades to merge with God in glory. Along with this festival, a large cattle fair is held in Thiruvannamalai for ten days.

Festival Calendar of Tamil Nadu



Information about Tamil Nadu
Introduction || History || Geography || Economy || People || Religion || Dances || Art & Culture || Cuisine || Festivals || Shopping || Wildlife Sanctuaries

Cities in Tamil Nadu
Chennai || Kanyakumari || Madurai || Mamallapuram || Ooty || Pondicherry

Distances from Cities in Tamil Nadu
Chennai || Coimbatore || Kanyakumari || Madurai || Ooty || Pondicherry || Rameshwaram || Thanjavur || Tiruchirappali

Festivals of Tamil Nadu
Tamil New Year || Chitra Pournami || Saral Festival || Silk Festival || Arumbavur Sculptor Fair || Dance Festival || Pongal || Thiruvaiyaru Music Festival || Natyanjali Festival || Karthigai Deepam

Wildlife Sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu
Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary || Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary || Mukkurthi National Park || Kalakkadu Wildlife Sanctuary || Mundanthuri Wildlife Sanctuary || Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary || Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirre Wildlife Sanctuary || Guindy National Park || Vallunadu Black Buck Sanctuary || Vedanthangal and Karikili Bird Sanctuaries || Arignar Anna Zoological Park || Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park

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