Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Significance of Events & Festivals in Tamil Calendar

Tamil calendar derived from ancient astronomical data, known as the "Tirukkanida Panchangam". This calendar contains a calculation of something over three hundred millions of years for the age of the present earth since sedimentation occurred, and a period of somewhat more than eighteen million years since the first appearance of our mankind. The months of the Tamil Calendar gains more significance and are deeply rooted to the faith of the Tamil Hindus. Some months are considered very auspicious while some are considered inauspicious.

The 10th Tamil month called Thai falls in the mid-January every year. It is celebrated with much enthusiasm among the Tamil Community all over the world. It is marked by gifting new dresses for the family members and offering prayers to God wishing for prosperity among the people for the coming year. The month of Thai and the fifth month Aavani are considered very auspicious and most marriages are usually conducted during those months than the other months of the year.

The fourth month Aadi is considered inauspicious in that usually weddings do not happen in the month. Aadi is also the month of preparation for next crop cycle by farmers. Hence, farming communities avoid major events like weddings in this month. On the contrary (or as advantage) the communities that don't actively contribute/participate in farming - take the advantage of having important functions like wedding in this month. For example, the business community prefers this month for wedding. It is usually the worst month for thriving businesses and recently this situation has changed a lot, as the businesses started providing discount shopping during that particular month. Each Friday of this month is set-aside for prayer and worship. Another important point to note, that for the newly married couple it is an inauspicious month to sleep together. The reason being if the girl who is conceived in this month will deliver the baby in the month of May, the hottest month in Srilanka and Tamil Nadu, India ('Agni natchathiram ' last 7 days of Chitharai and first 7 days of Vaigasi) and it will be tough period for baby delivery.

The fifth month Aavani is considered auspicious among the Tamil orthodox people, and the special occasion of Aavani Avittam marks the month. Each Sunday of this month is set-aside for prayer. The sixth month Purattaasi is auspicious to the effect that, most of the non- vegetarian Tamil people do not eat meat during the month. This faith can be considered much similar to the fasting by Muslims during the month of Ramadan. Each Saturday of this month is set apart to venerate the planet Saturn. The full moon days and the new moon days have considerable importance among the Tamil people. One of the famous festivals, the Deepavali, is celebrated on the new moon day, in the seventh month Aipassi. The month of Aipassi is usually characterized by the North-East Monsoon in Srilanka and Tamil Nadu, which has given birth to a phrase, “Aipassi Adai Mazhai” meaning the 'Non-stop Downpour'.

The Festival of Kaarthigai is celebrated during the eighth month Kaarthigai. Each Monday of this month is dedicated to the worship of Lord Murugan. The ninth month Maargazhi is characterized by the winter in Tamil Nadu, and considered auspicious for maiden women to find their groom. The Shaivite fast of Tiru-vembaavai and the Vaishnava fast of Tiru-paavai are observed in this month. The tenth month Thai is the month of Harvest in Srilanka and Tamil Nadu. The festival of Pongal or Makara Sankranti is celebrated to mark the harvest in the first day of that month. The total number of days in a Tamil Calendar is an average 365 days and day's name is also similar to the western calendar. In temples and for day-to-day purpose 'Vakiya Panchangam' is used and for Astrological calculations 'Tirukanitha Panchangam' is used.

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