(Last Updated on : 18-02-2019)
of Tamil Nadu
is regarded as a land of festivals
. Festivals of Tamil Nadu are therefore the reflection of the rich Tamil culture
and ethnicity. The fairs
and festivals of Tamil Nadu are considered to be very striking. In fact this is a state where festivals are regarded as a way of life. The vigour, exuberance, pomp and show brighten up the whole state during the festive celebrations.
Some of the popular festivals of Tamil Nadu are as follows:
: This is the most significant crop festival celebrated by the people of Tamil Nadu. It lasts for a time of 4 days and is usually celebrated from 13th to 16th January. This celebration mainly shows gratitude to the Sun God
for showering the land with abundant agriculture. The people boil the first rice
of the season as an honour to the Sun God. Pongal
is also the name of a dish that is very renowned in the South and is cooked for most of the festivals there. The main Pongal falls on the second day and is called Thai Pongal
. All the people wear traditional clothes
. The gift also includes sugar cane
This exhibition introduces people to Tamil Nadu's cultural wealth, places of tourist interest, economic scenario and much more. Organised by the Tamil Nadu Tourism
Development Corporation, this fair hosts regular dance
shows and food festivals to keep the visitors entertained.
Jalli Kattu or Bull fight:
On the second day of the Pongal i.e. on Mattu Pongal day, Jalli Kattu
or bull fight takes place in nearly all villages. Youths come onward to reclaim the bull as they come violently rushing on them. It is a traditional, spine-scary fight. The winner gets the prize money tied on the horns. Alanganallur near Madurai
is famous for this sport.
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 and 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 9 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 colours adorn the temples and courtyards of the houses. This is believed to ward off the evils and usher in prosperity and joy.
Brahmothsavam or Chitthirai festival is the chief festival celebrated in all temples for 10 days. Every day 'urchavar' or the processional Goddess is carried on in different vahanas like horse, bull, swan, lion
, sun, moon
etc. The one at Madurai
is with Lord Vishnu
landing on a golden horse for his sister Meenakshis marriage. The one at Kapaleeswarar temple
, is very famous, where the 63 bronze idols of the 'Nayanmars' or Saivaite saints
are taken in procession. This parade is a magnificent sight.
Tamil New Years Day:
Also known as Varushapirappu or Puthandu, the Tamil New year falls in mid April, the first month of the Tamil Calendar. The morning of Puthandu is marked as Women make beautiful Kolams
at the entrance of their houses. On this day people wear new clothes and eat delicious food one of them being Maanga Pachadi a sweet and sour dish made with mango
es, Jaggery and Neem
Natyanjali Dance Festival:
This festival commences from the day of Mahashivratri
and is celebrated for a stretch of 5 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 is 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'.
: This festival is celebrated in Tamil Nadu on a full moon day in the month of Thai in the Tamil calendar. It celebrates the Birthday of Lord Subramaniya
, the younger son of Lord Shiva. This festival is a day of penance, where the devotees take kavadi and pierce their body with sharp objects and carries 2 pots attached to long stick containing rice, milk
, and other things that the devotee wishes to offer the Lord in the Temple.
One of the Hindu
festivals of Tamil Nadu which is celebrated one time in 12 years in a small town called Kumbakonam. On this day, people from all over the country come to take a dip in the famous Mahamaham tank as it is considered holy.
This festival is celebrated in the 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.
It is the 18th day of the Tamil month Adi, on which most of the rivers will be in spate after rains. People go to the river banks and worship the river goddess and float their offerings on river
. They also carry different varieties of cooked rice and eat them on the banks and spend their time merrily.
This is celebrated in all shrines of Lord Muruga in the month of January. During this festival people 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 fulfil 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 etc. 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 and June, the hills are even better. Various cultural programs, adventurous sports, flower
shows, boat races adds to the splendour and glory of the festival.
This is celebrated in Thiruvaiyaru, a town in the district
, Tamil Nadu. It is a music festival in honour of the well-known music composer
and Saint Thyagaraja
and is held every year in the month of January. It is celebrated every year on the Pushya Bahula Panchami day when the saint Thyagaraja attained Samadhi
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. It is during this auspicious occasion that the Hindus consider a bath in this confluence as very sacred.
This festival is celebrated for the birthday of Lord Vinayaka or the elephant
-headed God. A huge Modhaga' or 'Kolukkattai' using about 80 kilos of rice, jiggery, coconut and dhal is prepared.
Shrine Velankanni Festival:
Thousands of people visit the place through the festival, clothed in orange ceremonial dress to the sacred location. The Virgin Mary Church is believed to have amazing power of healing. This festival attracts people of all religions
This festival is a Vaishnavite
festival and it is believed that the gates of heaven are thrown open on that day. In all Vishnu temples
, an attractive gate is erected called 'Vaikuntha Vasal' or the entrance of paradise.
This is a sole festival of current origin and is celebrated in Kuttalam
or Courtallam where there are a number of waterfalls
. During the season, water will be plentiful in them and thousands of people gather there to bathe in them. It is believed that the water has healing powers.