Aadi is the fourth month in Tamil calendar. It is an auspicious month for the Hindus. It starts during the mid of July and ends in mid August. The next six month is called as the Dakshinayana punya kaalam and it is the beginning of night for the Devas. Once Aadi month arrives, festivals will come one by one. Aadi azhayakkum, Vishu thodaykkum” saying conveys the start and end of the festivals, during the year. In rural places of Tamilnadu, they perform Aadi thiruvizha in Maariamman temples. The deity is considered as the kaaval deivam and it is worshipped mainly to get good rain and to protect ourselves from diseases like cholera, malaria and small pox. In my place every year they do this pooja in paettai mariamman kovil and people will visit the temple on tuesdays and fridays to worship her. In my husband’s family, they have the practise of keeping the water in a bowl. They place it in front of a mirror and will keep thamboolam(Vethalai, paaku, pazham, manjal) in the pooja room. This is done to get rid of the diseases and to protect ourselves.
Auspicious days during this month
Aadi Pandigai (17-07-2018)
First day of this month Aadi, usually it falls on 16th or 17th of July. People celebrate this day as Aadi pandigai especially newly-weds. Special puja is performed followed by a special food which sweet. The new groom in the family is invited to the Bride’s house and the couple is gifted with new dresses and other presents and treated well with a feast. It is a practise to leave the bride in her house till this month get over.
Aadi velli (20th july, 27th july, 03th august, 10th august) All the fridays falling on this month are considered as auspicious. Preparing sweets as offering (prasadam) to the goddess, visiting temples, doing special pujas are all the must do things for believers. In my home my paati or amma will make some payasam for neivedyam and offer it to the God. Since Amman is worshipped during this month, the sweets that are made of jaggery is considered superior to those made with white sugar. When we were kids, my mom will wake up very early in the morning before the sun rises and clean the front portion of our house with cow dung and draw kolam. She will also apply Chemman(red soil) here and there. It is from her I learnt to draw the kolams. My grandma or my mom will invite the sumangalis on those days and give them vethalai paaku. All the members in my family will sit together and will chant amman slokas and sing amman songs on these days. We will also arrange for Bhagavth sevai on any friday at our home.
Aadi Ammavasai (11-08-2018)
The no moon day that comes during this month is called as Aadi Ammavasai. It is a day dedicated to fore fathers and people will perform pooja and offer food to God.
The pooram star that falls on this month is the birthday of Andal. She is the only woman among 12 Alwars who composed Divya Prabhandham. Thiruppavai and Vaaranam Aayiram composed by her are some of the famous works. Perialwar a famous saint Srivalliputhur prayed Goddess Lakshmi since he had no children. One day he saw a beautiful child near thulasi plant and named her Andal. It was on a pooram star in the month of Aadi and hence it is considered as the birthday of Andal. It is celebrated in a grand manner in Srivalliputhur.
Aadi Krithigai is celebrated on the Krithikai star day during the month of Aadi, a spiritual month for special God based activities. It is of human origin to survive with relationship and financial problems at the least. Muruga is the promising primordial power who wards off the negative forces and obstacles of your life. Devotees carry flower kavadi and it is celebrated in a grand manner in many murugan temples.
It falls on the 18th day of Aadi. At my home we will make different varieties of rice like lemon rice, coconut rice, Vella sadham, thayir sadham, tamarind rice with vadam and it will be a total fun. Everyone will make a big round in our home, will chat together and enjoy the food. This year for the first time I will be missing my loving family.
It differs from family to family. Some will perform Varalakshmi viratham and others will have maavilakku poojai. In our family, we have the practise of performing maavilakku poojai. I have grown up seeing this done at my home. The procedure varies from family to family. Maa Vilakku is ideally performed on a Friday omitting the first and last Friday of the Aadi month. I have seen varalakshmi poojai in my perima’s house. But I donot know the exact procedure of performing it. I am just inserting the snap taken in my sister’s house few years back.
The procedure for performing maavilakku poojai is as follows. Kuzhavi,chooral and a wooden board are kept. Turmeric paste is made and applied on the wooden board. On that 25 red dots 5 rows and 5 columns are placed here and there. Draw maakolam (Rangoli made using rice paste) on the area where the pooja is to be done. Kuzhavi is washed well and the turmeric paste is made into a thick round and placed on it. Two red dots with kumkum are placed as eyes and is also placed as pottu. It is placed on the sand spread in front of the wooden board. A brass sombu is filled with water and Neem leaves are kept in it. Bunch of neem leaves and red colour flowers are placed on it. Along with it the chooral(wooden stick) is placed.
On the side kuthuvilakku is placed and it is lighted. On a large plate, rice flour is placed with jaggery and ghee in it. This is made as maavilakku. The tradition is, whatever is cooked for the day is placed before Amman and then partaken. Also once the lamp is lit, no more tempering with mustard seeds will be done in the home, for the day. Normally molagootal, rasam, pachadi is made on that day. A glass with water is placed. It should be removed only on the next day. Once the neiveydhyam is placed, the door is closed. It is a belief that the Goddess will come and eat those food.Now we will sit outside the pooja room and chant amman slokas and songs. After 10 minutes we should clap our hands twice before opening the door. And then the karpoora harathi is shown to the God. Vethilai paaku is given to the sumangalis .
Garuda Panchami (15-08-2018)
Garuda Panchami pooja is dedicated to Sri Garudalwar, also known as “Periya Thiruvadi”. This pooja is usually performed by women and benefits their children. Garudalwar is propitiated by women who wish to give birth to bold, brave and sharp-minded children like Garudan. Newly wed couples perform this pooja for a happy married life. By performing this pooja, it is also believed that suffering due to Naga Dosham will be alleiviated.