(Last Updated on : 22/03/2013)
The state of Tamil Nadu is regarded as a land of festivals. Festivals of Tamil Nadu is therefore the reflection of the rich Tamil culture and ethnicity. The fairs and festivals of Tamil Nadu are considered to be very striking with the abundance of striking colors in the backdrop of snow capped peaks and evergreen forests. In fact this is a state where festivals are regarded as a way of life. The festive season comes too often in this state to be missed by any visitor. The vigor, exuberance, pomp and show brighten up the whole state during the festive celebrations.
This is one of the most important festivals of Tamil Nadu and is celebrated almost everywhere in the
Indian subcontinent but with different names. It is observed for a period of four days and is a festival of thanksgiving to nature. This traditional occasion falls typically on 14th or 15th January and grandly celebrates the life cycle that gives us grain. The first day is celebrated as Bhogi festival in the honor of Lord Indra while on the second day ceremonial worship of the Sun God is performed. The third day is popularly known as the Pongal for cows while the fourth day is known as Knau or Kannum Pongal day. The festive celebrations of Pongal are generally confined to people' homes.
This festival is popularly known as the 'festival of lights' all across the state of Tamil Nadu
and is grandly celebrated in the months of November/December or on the full moon day of the Tamil month of Karthigai. Being a very big and prominent festival of the state it stretches on a period of nine days. It is also known as an extended Diwali and is one of the most ancient as well as elaborately celebrated festivals of Tamil Nadu. A wide assortment of lamps lit in all sizes, shapes and colors adorns the temples and the courtyards of the houses. This festival is considered as an auspicious occasion and is also believed to ward off the evils and usher in prosperity and joy.
This is one of the most delightful festivals of Tamil Nadu and is celebrated in the Thanjavur and Nagapattinam districts of the state on the full moon day in April or the month of Chittirai of the Tamil year. Celebrated to welcome the spring season, this special day holds a religious significance in the Hindu mythology. The locals make special offerings to please Chitragupta and the idols of the deities are taken out in colorful procession heading towards the bed of the river Vaigai. This auspicious day also marks the divine union of Meenakshi with Lord Shiva and special worship ceremonies are performed in all the shrines where people gather in large numbers to offer prayers.
Pudhu Varusha Pirappu
This is one of the most auspicious festivals of Tamil Nadu and is popularly known as the Tamil New Year. Celebrated in the month of April or the month of Chittirai according to the Tamil calendar this festival is filled with much fun and exuberance. The entrances of all the houses are decorated with colorful Kolam and lavish feasts are organized in which pulses and cereals form a part of the chief menu.
Celebrated in the Courtallam region of Tamil Nadu in the month of July, the Saral festival makes a celebration out of a simple, daily ritual bathing. The waterfalls of the region of Courtallam are very famous and the 'fog like' appearance given out by the tiny droplets of water, which falls on the rocks and are sprinkled on the air is indeed mesmerizing. This falls is also known for its medicinal importance. Competitions, cultural programmes, fun and frolic make this one of the remarkable festivals of Tamil Nadu.
Silk Festival is one of the most famous festivals of Tamil Nadu. This festival is again one of the most popular festivals of Tamil Nadu and is celebrated in the English month of October in Kanchipuram. The popularity of the festival lies in the display of silk saris in all its resplendent glory and the skilled craftsmanship of the weavers of the region characterizes this much-admired festival. People who share a special inclination towards the subtle elegance of silk saris visit this festival.
Natyanjali Dance Festival
This festival commences from the day of Mahashivratri and is celebrated for a stretch of five days. This festival not only provides the dancers with the best opportunity to showcase their talents but also pays a tribute to the 'Lord of Dances, Lord Shiva. The festival has special importance in Chidambaram and jointly organized by The Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu, The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and The Natyanjali Trust, Chidambaram. This dance festival is also designed to promote a universal message of 'Unity in Diversity'.
Thiruvaiyaru Music Festival
This is one of the popular state festivals of Tamil Nadu and is also known as the Thyagaraja Aradhana Festival in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. This grand festival is attended by the ardent lovers of the classical music and is indeed a delightful spectacle to watch the various musicians performing on the stage. The traditional singers consider it as a great opportunity and honor to participate in this renowned festival. Thousands of participants display their performance here with great vigor to seek the blessings of the saint Thyagaraja. One can witness here the amazing spectacle of mass performance in total harmony and rhythm.
This is one of the very auspicious festivals of Tamil Nadu and is celebrated in all shrines of Lord Muruga in the month of January according to the English calendar. During this festival the people of the state take a vow to offer the Lord a Kavadi for the sake of tiding over a great calamity. Dancing to the rhythms of drums in a hypnotic trance and carrying the Kavadi all the way to the Palani hills to fulfill their vow is one of the major features which characterize this festival. Strange and ghastly traditions like piercing of lips with mini silver lace, the locking of the mouth with metal ring, and the drawing of small make shift chariots with hooks attached to the back of the devotees strike the visitors with awe.
This hill station of Tamil Nadu provides a magnificent view and fills the tourist with sensations of delight. When the Summer Festivals are held in the months of May/June, the hills are even better. Various cultural programmes, adventurous sports, flower shows, boat races adds to the splendor and glory of the festival.
The Cape festival is one of the most popular festivals of Tamil Nadu and is celebrated with much pomp and show in Kanyakumari, which is in the southern tip of the Indian sub-continent. This festival usually falls on the month of October and it is during this auspicious occasion that the Hindus consider a bath in this confluence as very sacred. A series of cultural programmes marks the Cape Festival with much excitement and vigor.