Karthigai Deepam: Know the Significance of this Grand Festival Of Tamil Nadu

Karitigai Deepam, the festival of lights is celebrated by the Hindu population based in Tamil Nadu. Read more about this festival and discover the special customs followed by natives on this day.

The multicultural discourse of our country gives birth to many festivals and occasions. There are also existence of some festivals which are specially celebrated in particular states only. One such festival is Kartigai Deepam, which is especially celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu. Yes, we are talking about the Tamil Festival of lights, Karthigai Deepam. In some parts of modern Kerala too, this festival has gained some prominence. In Kerala, it is known by the name of Thrikkarthika. Malayalam natives offer prayers to Goddess Shakti on this day. In the state of Tamil Nadu, where Karthigai Deepam is widely observed, the primary deities who are worshipped are Lord Vishnu and Shiva. Prayers are offered to them on this day seeking happiness and prosperity. It is believed that by lighting lamps on this day, natives make attempt to drive away the evil energies and forces. Lamps play an important part in this Hindu festival. Karthigai Deepam too, cannot be celebrated without them. Hence, the central attraction of this festival is ‘Akkal Vilakku’ or oil lamps which are lit all around the household. However, very few people know that Karthigai Deepam is also synonymous to the festivals like Rakhi and Bhaiya Dooj, which are primarily celebrated in the Northern part of India.

As per the Tamil Calendar, Karthigai Deepam is celebrated on the Full Moon or Purnima Tithi during the month of Karthigai. The Muhurat of this festival comes into existence when the Moon remains in conjunction with the Karthigai and Pournami Nakshatras. In the current year, Karthigai Deepam will be celebrated on Tuesday, 10 December 2019. Let us now have a look at the auspicious Muhurat of this festival.

Karthigai Deepam Muhrat 2019 

Karthigai Nakshatram Starts 05 : 02 am in the morning of 10 December, 2019
Karthigai Nakshatram Ends 05: 58 am in the morning of 11 December, 2019

Karthigai Deepam: Significance in Mythology

Primarily dedicated to Lord Shiva, the festival of Karthigai Deepam has many mythological narratives associated with it. One such legend suggests that once Lord Brahma and Vishnu were arguing about each other’s supremacy. In order to test their superiority, Lord Shiva adorned the form of a flame and asked the other two Lords to locate his head and toe.

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Lord Brahma immediately took the form of a swan and Lord Vishnu incarnated as a boar(Vaman) and began their respective searches. The Swan began to fly and went towards the sky and the boar started to look for it in the Earth, in which he failed ultimately. Lord Brahma in the form of a swan stumbled upon a flower named Thazhambu, which he knew had been hovering down from Lord Shiva’s head. After gaining possession of the Thazhambu, Brahma Ji declared that he has seen Lord Shiva’s head. This infuriated Mahadev, which made him curse Lord Brahma that he would not be worshipped in any part of the world and that there would be no Temples of Brahma. Since Lord Shiva took the form of a flame on this day, the Kartigai Deepam is lit to pay tribute to him every year on this very day.

Another legend associated with this festival is the birth of Lord Karthikeyan. It is believed that six Nakshatras in the form of six celestial nymphs gave birth to six babies who were later encompassed into one single being, Muruga or Karthikeya. He had one body but six faces. Beliefs state that he is an incarnation of Lord Shiva and he is his second son after Lord Ganesha. Hence the festival of Karthogai Deepam can also be regarded as Lord Karthikeya’s birth anniversary.

Karthigai Deepam : Rites and Rituals to Observe on this Day

The oldest festival of Tamil Nadu is celebrated with great fervour all over the state. Deepam or lights are lit in every household to please Lord Shiva and as well as his son Karthikeya, who is also revered on this day. However, there are some special rites and customs followed by the natives of Tamil Nadu on this day. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • The day before Karthigai Deepam is known as Bharani Deepam. Light some lamps on this day and place them at your entrance on this day.
  • Do the necessary shopping for the festival beforehand.
  • Also, do not forget to purify and cleanse your entire household.
  • Wake up early on the day of Karthigai Deepam and take a clean bath.
  • Take an oath to observe a fast.
  • Prepare the Naivedyam recipes one by one.
  • Clean the entrance of your house properly and start drawing a Rangoli.
  • Prepare a Puja Pallette and place banana, half piece coconut, nuts and betel leaf on it.
  • Begin with the Puja and later on start lighting the lamps.
  • But first of all, the lights should be lit outside the house and not inside.

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Karthigai Deepam Celebrations in Thiruvannamalai

The Annamalaiyar temple situated in the Tiruvannamalai town of Tamil Nadu hosts the grandiose celebrations of Karthigai Deepam. The celebrations go on for a period of ten days. A flag is hoisted on the first day which is known as Dwajarohanam, and it marks the beginning of this festival. A significant amount of devotees flock to this temple to witness the grand festivities of Karthigai Deepam. The Bharani Deep is lit inside the temple at 4 am in the morning. Later on, during the evening time, the Mahadeep or the grand lamp is lit. It is quite a view to spectate which is why the temple hosts numerous visitors every year during the time of Kartighai Deepam.

We hope that you like this blog of ours on Karthigai Deepam. May you attain prosperity and happiness in abundance. Thankyou for staying connected with us!!


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