Monsoon starts its beginning in the month and the time is considered inauspicious for major functions like marriage, housewarming or start of new business. Therefore people consider this month as the most appropriate time to offer pujas and worships to please Gods and Goddesses. Mainly Aadi Festival is celebrated by women who offer prayers and pujas on river banks, lakes, wells and water tanks which become full during rainy monsoon. This kind of worship is supposed to provide prosperity, peace, and happiness to all people.
In Tamil Nadu, the first day of Aadi month is celebrated as “Aadi Pirappu” or “Aadi Pandigai” which marks the beginning of the festival season. On this day the entrance of the house is decorated with mango tree leaves with a drawing known as “Kolam” using rice powder. Special pujas are offered in many homes serving kheer or “Payasam” as locally called made of coconut milk and other ingredients. On this day, new sons-in-law or “Puthu Mappilai” are invited to the girl’s homes and they are treated with gifts. In 2018, Aadi Pirappu falls on July 17th all over Tamil Nadu.
On the 18th day of Aadi month, people celebrate “Aadi Perukku” or locally as “Pathinettam Perukku”. The rivers and other water bodies are full during this time and people take bath and offer special pujas. Prayers are also made on major temples like Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, Melmaruvathur Aadhiparashakthi Temple, Srivilliputtur temple, Mangadu Kamakshi Temple and local people worship Goddess Pachai Amman by visiting Amman Temples within their vicinity. Though there are traditional variations, this day is celebrated for good harvest and prosperity all over Tamil Nadu. Family members along with friends and relatives walk to the riverbank with a special lamp called “Maavilakku” made using rice powder and jaggery. Women lit the lamp and float it in the river to honor the river Goddess and nature. In 2018, Aadi Perukku falls on Aug 3rd.
Aadi KIruthigai festival is dedicated to the Lord Muruga and elaborate celebrations are observed in Murugan temples all over Tamil Nadu. Devotees carry “Kavadi” which is a short wooden pole with an arch and walk to the Murugan Temples. Aadi KIruthigai in 2018 is observed on Aug 5.
The new Moon Day that falls in the month of Aadi is observed as Aadi Amavasai. This day is particularly important for people because it is on this day ancestral rituals called “Tarpanam” is undertaken by having a holy dip in sacred river or sea. Aadi Amavasai is predominantly observed in places like Agni Theertham at Rameswaram and Thriveni Sangamam in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu to help ancestral souls attain salvation. Aug 11th is the Aadi Amavasai day in 2018.
Tamil Goddess Andal’s (an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi) birthday is observed as Aadi Pooram. Vishnu Temples in Tamil Nadu celebrate Aadi Pooram as a 10-day festival by offering special pujas and other events. It is a practice done by unmarried girls to worship Goddess Andal on the 10th day of Aadi Pooram festival so that they are supposed to get married. Aadi Pooram festival in 2018 is observed on Aug 14th.
The last day of the Aadi month is otherwise known as Aadi Iruthi which marks the end of the festival. People from some parts of Tamil Nadu still remember their departed women on the day of Aadi Iruthi and offer specially prepared food to the departed souls.
The Aadi Festival has great significance because it unites families, friends, and community in general. All rituals bring peace and religious harmony and help to flourish related trade and business. Tamil Nadu is an important state producing agricultural products and vegetables is gifted with this practice of observing Aadi as an important Festival.