The Karnataka Temple Festivals also marks the importance of the specific temples in the state. Dasara in Karnataka is important festival which celebrates women power. Chamundeshwari is the personification of courage, strength and power and thousands of devotees pray to her during Dasara. When the male gods failed to destroy the demon, it was the Devi who stood up to the occasion. Deepavali is the festival of diyas or deepas all over the nation; however it is celebrated in Karnataka temples too. The temple premises are lightened with colorful lights. This five-day long temple festival marks the Demon Narkasura, killed by Lord Krishna. It is also called Kaumudi Deepam or Dipalika.
The temples of Karnataka are decorated in typical traditional style during the Karnataka Temple Festivals. These festivals are usually performed by the temple priests; however sometimes priests of higher status are invited to perform the greater rituals. Yajna is an important part of the Karnataka Temple Festivals. Vaikunta Ekadashi is a temple festival in Karnataka that occurs in the calendar month of Marghazhi or Margashira, usually in the winter months. Ganesha Chaturthi is a popular Karnataka temple festival, celebrated on the day Lord Ganesha resurrected to life on earth with the head of elephant. This festival is observed in the lunar month of bhadrapada, shukla paksha chathurthi and lasts for 10 days, ending on Ananta Chaturdashi.
The Karnataka Temple Festivals also include the famed Gowri Festival, celebrated a day before Ganesh Chaturthi. It is a significant festival in the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh & Tamil Nadu. Goddess Gowri is worshiped throughout India for her ability to bestow upon her devotees power, courage and velour. She is the most powerful of all the Goddess and is the very incarnation of Aadhi Shakthi Mahamaya. It is believed that on the thirteenth day Thadige of the month of Bhaadrapada Goddess Gowri is welcomed at her patents' house, in reality the temple where she is worshipped. The next day Lord Ganesha, her son comes as if to take her back to Kailasa. The Swarna Gowri vratha is chanted on the occasion, to please the Goddess.
Ground nut festival or the annual groundnut fair is held on the last Monday of Karthika Masa in Dodda Ganesha temple, close to the Bull Temple at Basavanagudi in Karnataka. Similarly, Krishna Janamashtami is the celebration of Lord Krishna's birthday on Krishna Paksha, which is held on the 8th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Shravan Masa. Mahashivaratri is a vital Karnataka Temple Festival that occurs on the 14th night of the new moon during the dark half of the month of Phalguna. On a moonless night in February, is considered as the night of Shiva, the destroyer. This is the night when he is said to have performed the Tandava dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction.
Other than the above mentioned Karnataka Temple Festivals, Naga Panchami is one of the auspicious festivals for Hindu women. Ugadi is the event of Chaitra suddha padhyami, also a Karnataka Temple Festival. Vara Mahalakshmi is the worshipping day of Mother Lakshmi. The goddess of wealth, auspiciousness and prosperity, Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in every temple of Karnataka and Vratha is observed on a Friday that falls before the full Moon day of the month of Shravanamasa.
The Karnataka Temple Festivals are some of the religious customs followed in this state for ages and has now been instilled in the tradition of Karnataka.
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