The state of Tamil Nadu is referred to as the state of festivals due to multiple reasons. Tamil Nadu celebrates perhaps the largest number of festivals in a year. Hence, it can be easily said that the festivals in Tamil Nadu are nothing but a reflection of the ethnicity and culture of Tamil Nadu. The festivals and fairs and deemed to be extremely striking with abundance of colors at the backdrop of peaks covered with snow and some lush green forests. In fact this is the best place where festivals are all regarded as the best way of life. Too often the festive season arrives in this state and not a single visitor will turn on to Tamil Nadu without facing any festival.
While the temple festivals are held in the months of September and October and during the harvest months of March and June which lasts for continuous 3 days. All festivals aren’t religious here but they are all no less than cultural landmarks. Read on to know about some of the major festivals of Tamil Nadu and their corresponding significance.
New Year’s Day of Tamil:
Natyanjali Dance Festival:
The most vital harvest festival which is celebrated by the Tamil Nadu people is Pongal. This festival lasts for around 4 days and is usually celebrated on the 13th of January which lasts till the 16th of January. The main purpose of this festival is to acknowledge the worth of Sun God for giving energy towards agriculture and farming. The first rice of the season is boiled as a tribute to the Sun God. Pongal can also be the name given the name given to a particular dish which is popular in the South. Exactly a month before the festival, women make patterns at the entrance of their houses with rice and powder (colored) and it is called Kolam.
This is also called Puthandu and this falls in mid April, the very first month of the calendar of Tamil Nadu. On the mornings of Puthandu, women beautifully decorate their houses with Kolams done at the entrance of their doors with colored powder. Mangoes are also seen hanging from the trees and the Neem flowers also remain bloomed during this season. People start with a bath and then they visit the temple Kanni which is one of the most essential parts.
Natya, the word means dance and anjali means offering. This is that auspicious day when the dancers offer their Natya as a tribute to Lord Nataraja. This special festival is celebrated inside the Nataraja temple in Tamil Nadu. More than 300-400 dancers from all parts of India come to show off their uniqueness on the same floor with various dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Mohiniyattam. Kuchipudi, Kathak etc. It is a 5-day long festival which begins on Maha Shivratri.
This is a sort of Hindu festival which is celebrated once in 12 years in Tamil Nadu. This special day is marked by people from all over the country taking a dip in the popular Mahamaham tank which is believed to be sacred. The last time it took place was on 6th March, 2004. It is said that once in 12 years, when Jupiter enters the Leo in the constellation, people celebrate this festival. This festival marks the arrival of more than even 1 million people in TN.
So, before you visit Tamil Nadu for your next vacation, educate yourself on the plethora of festivals which occur in this state so that you don’t miss the essence of any.