Thai Pongal Celebrations in Tamil Nadu – Tamilar Thirunal Tamil Harvest Festival

Thai Pongal 2017 - Tamil Harvest Festival 2017 - Ulavar Thirunal 2017 - Tamilar Thirunal 2017 - Pongal Celebrations

Thai Pongal 2017 – Tamil Harvest Festival 2017 – Ulavar Thirunal 2017 – Tamilar Thirunal 2017 – Pongal Celebrations

Pogi Pongal13-01-2017
Thai Pongal14-01-2017
Mattu Pongal15-01-2017
Kaanum Pongal16-01-2017

Tamil People’s Traditional Harvest Festival  – Tamilar Thirunal Pongal Celebrations in Tamil Nadu

Thai Pongal Celebrations in Tamil Nadu - Tamilar Thirunal Tamil People's Traditional Harvest Festival

Pongal is a Tamil people’s traditional festival celebrated by Hindus for annual harvest in Tamil Nadu. Pongal Celebrations in Tamil Nadu is preceded by worshiping Sun god with utmost reverence and thankfulness. In precise Pongal is rejoiced for the agricultural profusion offered by god during one full year. Pongal literally means ‘overflow’ in Tamil which symbolizes the overflow of wealth, joy, and prosperity within a family. Pongal is a 4-day cultural and traditional festival of Tamil people celebrated from last day of Tamil month Margazhi to the first three days of Tamil month Thai. Each day of Pongal celebration in Tamil Nadu has its own historic and cultural importance. Copious happiness along with strong family bonding is developed with this event. Pongal is mostly celebrated by the Tamil people of Tamil Nadu and hence also called as ‘Tamizhar Thirunaal’ meaning Tamil people’s traditional festival.

Significance of Pongal Celebrations in Tamil Nadu

Every festival has its own significance and history. Of that Pongal is a festival of Sangam age. Pongal festival is celebrated for four days. All the four days are celebrated with immense joy and pleasure all around. Margazhikolam is the specialty in houses during Pongal celebration in Tamil Nadu. Kolam is nothing but different patterns drawn using rice flour and colored in front of the gate or in portigo. Houses are cleaned and whitewashed to welcome the Goddess of wealth during the festive time. It is one of the famous tradition and culture followed by Tamil people in Tamil Nadu. In the top of the front doors mango leaves and turmeric are hanged as a part of traditional practice.Doors are decorated with turmeric and Kumkumam. These are the sequences followed by Tamil people in the Pongal celebration in Tamil Nadu.

Thai Pongal Festival Days

The four different days of the Pongal festival include

  • Bhogi
  • Thai Pongal
  • Maatu Pongal
  • Kaanum Pongal

Pongal Bhogi Festival

Bhogi is the first day of Pongal which is on last day of the Tamil month Margazhi. Bhogi is dedicated to Lord Indra for the blessing of abundant rain. Lord Indra is the God of the sky and precious rains. Tamil Devotees offer veneration to god by presenting sweets and foods before god. Bhogi is celebrated with a concept – ‘dispose old possessions to welcome new comings’. On this day people used to burn their old belongings in the daybreak. It is believed that this will erase the bad happenings thereby create a new beginning of blissfulness into one’s life. Along with that burn flames, Tamil people used to dance as a part of Pongal celebration in Tamil Nadu to express their contentment.

Thai Pongal

Thai is the tenth month of Tamil calendar. It falls either on 13th or 15th of January on a regular basis. Pongal is a holy festival celebrated on the first day of this month and hence termed as Thai Pongal. This day marks the second day of Pongal ceremony. Pongal is the name of the Tamil people’s food which is prepared during the Pongal days.

Preparation and serving of Pongal (food)

The Pongal cuisine is cooked in a small earthen pot with ginger and turmeric wound around the pot. The first harvested paddy is used for cooking rice. Rice along with jaggery, cashews, cardamom, etc are mixed and boiled in rice to get the delicious Pongal. The recipes of Pongal celebration will be overflowing out of the pots which signify a good sign of growth. When it overflows people used to scream ‘Pongalo Pongal’ to express their happiness.
Two types of Pongal are prepared namely Venn Pongal and Sweet Pongal which are made my Tamil people during the Pongal celebration. Food preparation is made in front of the sunlight and dedicated to the Sun god. Hence Thai Pongal is also known as Surya Pongal. On both the sides of the god sugarcanes are kept which is the essential portion of the festival. Only after offering prayers to god foods are tasted by the devotees. Tamil Folks of Tamil Nadu wear new traditional clothes and go to temples in the morning in reverence to god.

Maatu Pongal – Bull Pongal – Cow Pongal

Maatu Pongal (Festival of Cows) falls on the second day of Thai month. As the name indicates Maatu Pongal means ‘Pongal festival of cows’. Cows are decorated in a grand manner as well as their horns are painted in Tamil people’s houses. Garlands made of flowers, colorful beads and leaves are worn around the Cow’s head. Even loud sound bells are tied to the rope of cows to generate more rings. Those who are having cows will do this on a yearly basis. After all that decorations they are worshiped by lighting a lamp in front of their legs as a part of Pongal celebration. The customs are followed to show their gratitude by proffering chow to the cows which sacrifice a lot for human beings. Following that in the evening, cows are taken out for a round in their respective towns or villages of Tamil Nadu to show off delight. This marks the end of the Pongal celebration of this day in Tamil Nadu.

Jallikattu & its Importance on Maatu Pongal

Jallikattu or Sallikattu is the traditional game of Dravidian played in Tamil Nadu. “Salli” means coins and “Kattu” means “to tie”. Together it means tieing coins to the bull’s horns. The Bullfighter needs to embrace the bull for a particular distance and take the coins to win the award prize. “Maatu Pongal” stands to be the cultural festival of praising cattle. Hence, in many places of Tamil Nadu, Jallikattu events will be conducted as a part of the celebration.The most famous one is the Alanganallur Jallikattu near Madurai. It is one of the renowned sports of ancient Tamil Nadu that prevailed for years together. But, it was banned by the Supreme Court recently according to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. This was the most unexpected action taken by the Government of India. As a true Tamil blood, we need to strive hard in some possible way to bring back Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu.

Kaanum Pongal or Uzhavar Thirunal

Last day of the Pongal celebration is known as Kaanum Pongal in Tamil Nadu. Kaanum means ‘to visit’ which means to visit their relatives’ houses and go outing with them. That is, there exists a get-together of different family members residing at various places. Apart from the above, there will be many gift exchanges among the societal members to celebrate Tamil people’s traditional festival. The gifts include food, clothes and household items which are useful. All the picnic spots and tourist places will be filled by hundreds of thousands of people. An added beauty of the Pongal celebration in Tamil Nadu is that Tamil people’s game play activities like Jallikattu, Gummi, Kabaddi and other village sports.These games are played only by the Tamil people to celebrate their traditional festival of Pongal.

Pongal – A Cultural Festival dedicated to Farmers

Pongal or Thai Pongal is a traditional festival of Tamils which falls on January 14, 2017, this year. Pongal means “overflowing” and this festival is celebrated so as to bring about overflowing happiness in life for the forthcoming years. Pongal is called to be the festival of farmers since this is the period of Harvest too. Also, Pongal is one big festival which brings not only joy but also harmony to our family. All the farmers will cook their first harvested rice and present before the Sun God. It is also celebrated to be the thanksgiving event for Mother nature. On the whole, the four-day festival Pongal is a traditional festival filled with cultural heritage. Let’s celebrate this holy festival of Pongal with bonds of love and Thanksgiving. With that note, I wish you all to have a very Happy and Prosperous Pongal this year.

Jallikattu, Sallikattu, Eruthaluvuthal, Manju Virattu – Traditional Game of Taming Bulls

Jallikattu Sallikattu Manju Virattu Yeruthazhuvuthal Yerukol Madu Pidithal Pollerudhu Pidithal - Traditional Game of Taming Bulls

Jallikattu aka Sallikattu, Eruthaluvuthal, Manju Virattu – Traditional Game of Taming Bulls

A crucial issue which is creating an unexpected protest in recent years is Jallikattu, a traditional game of Tamil Nadu People. Jallikattu or Bullfighting or Bull taming is played with Bulls (“Kaalai” in Tamil) and stands to be an important ancient sports act for many centuries. At present, Jallikattu is not happening in Tamil Nadu and is banned by the Supreme Court. All this happened for the safety and security of Dravidian People. But, the ban of Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu is not welcomed by Tamil People. A serious step towards bringing back our traditional game is continuously happening here and there in Tamil Nadu. Herewith, Dravidian explains about Jallikattu, the proud history, the story of banning Jallikattu, and finally the appeal against the banning. I hope so the forthcoming words will surely give you a good knowledge of Jallikattu and make you realize the importance and support our traditional play.

Jallikattu, Sallikattu, Manju Virattu - Traditional Game of Taming Bulls

History of Jallikattu – The Story of Origin

Jallikattu is a traditional and oldest cattle game played in Tamil Nadu. It is played by men so as to show off their manliness. The name “Jallikattu” is derived from the word “calli kacu” meaning ‘coins’ and “kattu” means a strong tie to the bulls’ horns in Tamil. Let us now see a detailed note on how Jallikattu came into existence and the procedure followed in our ancient period.

In medieval times, this play was popular among the Forest region (“Mulai” in Tamil) and it is personally related to the Bishops’ marriages. Even though Jallikattu was the proud game of Mulai region people, it was played with a keen interest in Madurai of Tamil Nadu. Jallikattu was celebrated as a cultural festival for commemorating the heroic spirit of Dravidian. In Sangam literature, all the specialties and facts about Jallikattu are clearly defined. In Kalithogai, an ancient Tamil book featuring the forest regions, Jallikattu was mentioned in many songs. The People of Kurinji land (Land of Hills) and Mullai land (Land of Forests) used to cheerfully conduct bullfight with their respective oxen. This symbolizes the fight between the two groups of people. The winning bull will give victory and Happiness to its respective land people.

Marriage Promise by the bishops

On the day before or on the day of the Bullfight, an event called “Kuravaikuthu” will be carried out. The event is conducted to appreciate or encourage the bullfighter by singing songs. If the event happens a day before Jallikattu, women will sing encouraging songs so as to win the game. If not, Kuravaikuthu will be performed in the evening. This time, women will sing songs to praise the victory. During Jallikattu, strong and powerful men will climb on top or make moves to get control of the bull. The man who wins the game will be married to a girl wearing jasmine on her hair. They believe that the masculinity of man can be finely interpreted through this game. The game play Jallikattu is said to be in practice since 2000 years ago. But it is believed that it must have come to appearance long before thousands of years. Bishops wearing a garland of flowers like Jasmine, Malabar Glory Lily will make a promise to everyone. According to the promise, their daughter should get married to the winner of Jallikattu. Following that, the bishops will sharpen the horns of the bull like the weapon of Lord Shiva. After that, the bulls will be taken to the ground to commence the program. The women whose fathers have promised will be made to stand or sit in order for watching the event.

Bullfighting and its consequences

Before starting with Jallikattu, the participants will pray to god for good results. Everybody will be made ready and the slot will be open. The bull enters with a great force. Anybody can get hold of the bull from any side. Most people climb and take control of the bull. While doing that, there are chances for the bull to tear the skin of the person. Even many deaths have occurred as a consequence of the happening.

In spite of having so many risks in this play, it is considered as our heroic play amongst Dravidians. A man who doesn’t win Jallikattu cannot be allowed to marry any bishop lady. So, the Tamils consider this game to be an ethnic symbol of their tradition. Although the play happened with several changes in terms of people and social conditions, there is no doubt that it depends on the culture.

The Meaning and Unknown facts of Jallikattu (Taming of Bulls)

“Jallikattu” is a bull taming game played in Tamil Nadu on the day of “Maatu Pongal”. It is mainly held in the Tamil Nadu villages as a cultural event. Every year, the festivals of Jallikattu are conducted from January to July. The major place of celebration is at Alanganallur near Madurai. Alanganallur Jallikattu is the most popular one amongst all.

Generally, Prey animals and herd animals have the habit of running away at unnecessary conditions. There are about 42 different types of bulls in existence. But Jallikattu bulls are exceptional ones which belong to a particular cattle breed descended from Kangeyam. They are pugnacious by nature and are usually gathered in hundreds. It is so fearful and mingles well only with their group of animals well. This cattle breed from Kangeyam is selected for Jallikattu festival. These bulls fight not because they are agitated or frightened, but because of their nature. Jallikattu is known by different names at different places. Some of the names include “Yeruthazhuvuthal”, “Yerukol”, “Madu Pidithal”, “Manju Virattu” and “Pollerudhu Pidithal”. All the words resemble the same meaning which is “taming of Bulls” or “chasing the Bull”. Bullfighting is basically categorized into three according to the place of play. They are discussed as follows:

a)Vadi Manju Virattu which takes place mostly in the districts of Madurai, Thanjavur, and Salem. In this category, the bull is released from a closed space. This is the common one where the bullfighter will try to catch the hump of the bull in order to win the award. Only one person is allowed at a time to attempt.

b)Vaeli Virattu is a popular play in the districts of Sivagangai, and Madurai. Here, the approach is slightly different where the bull is released into an open ground. There are chances for many bulls to run away from the ground. But there are bulls which stand still and fight with the Bullfighter. The rule is the same, that is, the fighter needs to cling on to the Bull’s hump for a particular period of time to achieve the prize.

c)Vadam Manju Virattu is a game play played with a rope. “Vadam” means rope in Tamil. Here, the bull will be tied to a 50 ft long rope. There are no restrictions for the bull and hence it can move freely anywhere. The maximum time period given is 30 minutes. A team of 7 to 9 members can attempt to seal the bull. A specialty of this game is the usage of rope which makes it possible for the spectators to watch without fear.

How is Bull Fight training given to the bulls?

First of all, Kangeyam calves will be selectively chosen for Jallikattu. From the early age itself, Nutritious diet will be fed to those Jallikattu bulls so as to become strong and sturdy beasts. Even, the bulls are made to do swimming exercises. The training continues till it reaches the adolescence age. After that, the bulls are taken to Jallikattu events to play. The bulls which play well will get a big fame amongst the crowd. Special training will be given to Vadam Manju Virattu bulls since the rules of the fight are different. Other than this, no training will be provided to the Jallikattu bulls.

Controversy and Ban of Jallikattu

Jallikattu is the most popular game and is emotionally connected with the village people especially the farmers. Jallikattu events are conducted as a gameplay and Bulls play a vital role. Many deaths have been encountered and also many injuries were held. In spite of that Tamils consider Alanganallur Jallikattu to be the symbol of cultural heritage and Tradition. Jallikattu is no longer into existence now because of the ban on May 7th, 2014. A major case was filed in the Supreme Court of India against Jallikattu. The step was taken by the Animal Welfare Board of India for an outright ban on Jallikattu. The reasons they kept before are animal cruelty and the threat to public safety. The court considered the reports of Jallikattu held from 2010 to 2014 which stated that there were more than 1100 injuries and 17 deaths as a result of Jallikattu. In the past twenty years, more than 200 deaths happened which was taken into account by the court. Following that, the court banned Jallikattu completely and stated it as an offense under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The Supreme Court also highlighted that any pan out against this judgment will meet with a severe penalty as per the act of 1960. The court also asked the Indian Government to amend the law on preventing cruelty to animals to bring bulls within its ambit.

Jallikattu – A must have ancient sport in Tamil Nadu

Jallikattu is our traditional sport played to benefit both the cattle and the human. There are two main misconceptions which resulted in Jallikattu Ban.

The first one is that many consider Jallikattu to be a sport which is just been conducted for an entertainment purpose. But it is absolutely not. Indian farmers are best friends of the cattle. They take care of cattle like their own child. From the childhood, cattle are grown up with loads of love and concern. Special care is given for Jallikattu Kangeyam Kaalai (Bull) from the beginning when it is a small calf. It is grown to become a Jallikattu bull and finally after the adolescent age, it is made to participate in the events. By this way, a farmer can able to make more money and also can take care of their bull in an efficient manner. That is a good time for both the man and the bull because it is the time of breeding. At this time, the bull will be very tough and strong by nature. The owners will tie coins to the horns of the bull and ask people to seal the bull. The one who wins can get the reward coins for themselves. This is a sport which is played to make the particular breed cattle live long.

The second misconception is “Humans are showing cruelty to the animal”. I obviously say “NO” to this because there is no harm done to the bull during the game. Also, no weapon is used to take control of the Jallikattu bulls. The only thing done is that people will climb on the bull to seal it and win the prize. There are certain risks in Jallikattu too. Chances are very high for the bull to tear man’s body. But it is not so frequently happening case. Jallikattu bull is the hero of the match. Only the bull can decide in which way it has to go. There is no restriction at all. Bullfighter, on the other hand, needs to be careful in order to keep them uninjured. Both the bull and the bullfighter are given training before they get into the game. They know how to get rid of the bull’s hit easily. Similarly, the bull knows what to do and how to escape from the bull tamers. This is a well known and a very fair sport.

Support Jallikattu – Join Hands to Save our Tradition

Jallikattu or Bullfighting belongs to Tamils and is on follow for the past 2000 years. Our ancestors are not fools to keep this as a sport for so many centuries. There are certain reasons which made Alanganallur Jallikattu survive for these many years. Jallikattu is mainly played to show off a man’s courage and heroic spirit. Bull taming is a very important game which played a vital role in lives of people and their marriages. A common man cannot get into Alanganallur Jallikattu. Proper rules and regulations are there for a man to participate in this Bullfight. One who knows about Jallikattu alone can win the trophy. In the same way, the bulls which participate are not the ones which used to roam here and there. But, the bulls are very much trained and are totally dedicated to this sport.

Unfortunately, there have been cases so far where the bull gores man’s body and take off his life. Many people even got injured by the bulls. Taking this reason into account and also the animal cruelty, Supreme Court took a very big decision. A possible solution for the problems is to increase the safety measures for both the bullfighters and the spectators. But ignoring and putting an end to the traditional game Jallikattu is totally unfair. The court’s judgment needs a sheer opposition. As Tamils, we need to realize our cultural heritage and strive hard to bring back our Alanganallur Jallikattu into existence. The remaining cultural heritage components among the people have to be included in the next generation with the help of Jallikattu. As a Dravidian, this is a small step taken by me to bring back our Jallikattu game. Don’t let our tradition disappear. Join hands to support Jallikattu.

We do Support for Jallikattu. hope we will conduct our traditional game play on Mattu Pongal ( 3rd Day of Thai Pongal)

Save Jallikattu, Supoort Jallikattu - Jallikattu, Sallikattu, Manju Virattu - Traditional Game of Taming Bulls

Christmas Celebrations in India, History, Images

Christmas Celebrations in India Christmas History Christmas Images

Christmas Celebrations – Joyous Festival of Lord Jesus

Christmas, a day of Ultimate happiness to mankind, is a day on which holy Jesus Christ Birth on Earth happened. In Bethlehem, long before 2000 years, Jesus Christ was born to Virgin Mary. People all over the world celebrate Christmas from midnight of 24th December. The birth of Jesus Christ will be grandly celebrated and prayers will be continued on 25th December also. The holy night is dedicated to the Lord Jesus and the time is always remembered for his spiritual birth. Lord Jesus came to this world as a baby and lived as a savior of Humankind. He totally sacrificed his wishes and helped the whole world in a possible way. This is the best celebration of the world with love, peace, and joy. Christmas celebrations are generally based upon some themes and signs so as to bring Happiness to People. Let us now navigate through the History and Celebration of Christmas

Christmas Tree - Christmas Celebrations in India Christmas History Christmas Images

History of Christmas

Christmas is a traditional festival celebrated all over the world with Joy. The method of celebration varies from place to place but the reason for celebration is the same everywhere. It is celebrated in remembrance of Holy Jesus Christ birthday. Can you just imagine how a great God born to a normal woman on Earth? There is a wonderful history of Jesus’s birth.

Mary and Her Life on Earth with Joseph

Israelites were a certain group of people who waiting a long time for Messiah’s Birth. Messiah was said to be the king of Kings. In Israel, a Baptist called John was prophesying about Jesus Birth and baptized many believers of his sayings. This happened during the first century of BC period. Joseph, a good human lived in Nazareth was a carpenter and betrothed to the religious Mary. Mary was actually the daughter of Anne and Joachim. Gabriel who was known to be the God’s angel spoke to Mary about her miraculous Pregnancy. He also told that it will due to the power of Holy Spirit and not because of a human. On knowing this secret, Joseph decided to leave Mary. But, Gabriel convinced him and thereby he chose to live as a Foster father of Jesus from then on. During that period, King Herod ordered all the citizens to register for the census in their respective hometowns. For this purpose, both Joseph and Mary traveled their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

Almighty King’s Birth on Earth

On reaching Bethlehem, labor pain started for Mary and she was in need to give birth to Jesus. They both went in search of the house to give birth to Jesus, but they failed in that. At last, a good person offered shelter to them in his cattle shed for the delivery. The baby boy was born in that shed as a peasant amidst the goats and the cows. Angels of heaven proclaimed about the birth of Savior Jesus nearby living beings. On hearing the Birth news, some three Kings from the south came with their camels and guiding comet. The comet reached the palace of King Herod and the news was informed to the King. Herod got angry on hearing the news of a mighty Lord’s birth. And further, he confirmed the place of birth as Bethlehem with his scholars on dice.

He decided and planned to kill the baby Jesus. Herod insisted the visiting kings inform about the baby so that he could make himself ready to commit the sin. The Kings traveled their way with guiding comet to the place of Jesus birth.They found him in a manger with Mary and Joseph. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh were offered to them and also paid their homage. On that very night, they were informed not to go back to Herod by the God’s Angel. They were also informed about the plan to kill the baby. They obeyed the Holy angel and Changed the route to their place. Herod noticed that there was no response from the kings and so he killed all the babies below the age of two. The real fact was the angel of God told Joseph in advance about this cruel behavior and asked him to take both mother and baby to Egypt. They continued to stay there until Herod’s Death.

Christmas Celebrations Worldwide

Christmas is a celebration of Jesus birth with stars and lights all over. The initial preparation and decorations for Christmas will begin generally from early December days all round the world. In the United States, Christmas Shopping starts immediately after Thanksgiving day. It is nothing but the third Thursday of November. People decorate their homes with colorful stars and lights in depiction to the guiding comet light. The crib set made of special grasses, bamboo with toys like the cow, goat, camel, three kings, shepherds and even tiny statues of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and angel will be arranged.

Christmas Village - Christmas Celebrations in India Christmas History Christmas Images

The whole setup will look like the real cattle shed where Jesus Christ was born. Decorated Beautiful Christmas trees with balls, lights and dolls will be present in every home and church before Christmas day. Days before Christmas, Church Carols will be moving from house to house by singing Christmas songs in chorus. This is actually done to commemorate the angels’ singing of Jesus’s Birth to the shepherds.

Christmas Celebration and Fireworks

When we say it’s Christmas, one bubbly person who comes to our mind is Santa Claus. It is usual to see Santa Claus, a very old man dressed in red color with a whitish beard, a cap, and a mustache. He used to move around with the Carol troupe. The main highlight is that he will greet everyone and offer sweets. This became a tradition in the later years, for Children’s Happiness. Even in schools and other public places like malls, offices, People dress like Santa Claus and present gifts to the people. Fireworks make the night sky glow with its sparkling colors every time you burst it. Crackers always play a vital role in every celebration. On 24th December, bang of Crackers will be heard at midnight in churches. Everyone will burst the fireworks to express their joy . The sound of crackers symbolizes the birth of Jesus. The kids will have complete excitement with sparklers and crackers all around. Following that, cake cutting will be done in house to express the joy. The Christmas day morning starts with yummy breakfast with delicious sweets and big lunch. The grand celebration also includes the distribution of cakes to families, friends, and neighbors with happy greetings. In recent days, many have started going to orphanages and old age homes to share their happiness with them by offering sweets and cakes. Christmas celebrations usually continue till New Year day.

Christmas – Celebration of the Birth of Holy Jesus on Earth

Human history divided into two with the birth of Jesus Christ. They are the period before Christ (BC) and the period after Christ (AD). Generally, Lord Jesus birth is celebrated as a day of Joy, Peace, and Prosperity all around the world. Christmas is one Big day on our Earth when the mighty creator came into this world as a savior to mankind. Christians are the ones who used to celebrate this festival in a grand manner. Nowadays, even other religion people have also started celebrating Christmas with fun. Jesus was born with admirable simplicity. He showed love to the poor, sinners and the downtrodden. Also, he healed their problems with ease. Jesus preached and led a very normal life like a human. He always wanted to follow his impeccable life and to love everyone. In this period, calls from Church will come to open our hearts and happily receive the baby Jesus on Earth. This is possible only with purity of heart and by giving love to others. Let us all celebrate this Happy Christmas with Love, Peace, and Joy. Wish You All Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

Ayudha Pooja – Saraswati Puja – Navaratri – Dussehra

Ayudha Pooja - Ayudha Puja - Saraswati Puja - Saraswati Pooja - Navratri - Navaratri - Dussehra

Ayudha Pooja 2017 Date – Saraswati Puja 2017 Date – Navaratri 2017 Date – Dussehra 2017 Date in India

Ayudha Pooja - Ayudha Puja29 September 2017Friday

Festival brings happiness in a family by integrating relations and friends together. Festive celebration will always be a fun filled activity along with genuine prayers to God. Ayudha Pooja (Ayudha Puja) or Saraswati Pooja (Saraswati Puja) is one such festivity which creates a wonderful environment of both pleasure and joy. Herewith, we are going to see interesting procedures and different methods of celebrating Ayudha Puja or Saraswati Puja. The note from Dravidian will also guide you on how to celebrate Ayudha Puja or Saraswati Puja.

Ayudha Pooja – The Festival of Triumph celebration

Ayudha Pooja, the name by itself indicates that it is a festival celebrated to respect the implements of God.  ‘Ayudha’ means weapon and Pooja are nothing but worshiping the Lord. Ayudha Pooja is done to respect weapons and it does not mean literally. The weapon includes all the things which a man uses to attain wisdom and prosperity. Weapons, books, vehicles, household Appliances and so on are the things included for Pooja celebration. Ayudha Pooja is an auspicious day for Hindu people and considered to be holy spiritual activity.

Ayudha Pooja is also called as Saraswati Pooja and called as Dussehra in North India.  Ayudha or Saraswati Pooja is celebrated differently in various places according to one’s own religious customs. Ayudha Pooja falls on the ninth day of the Moon cycle and during Navratri (Navaratri). Ayudha Pooja is celebrated all over India, Sri Lanka. Veneration of God given objects is really an essential action and is accomplished on Dussehra day. Three phenomenal goddesses of worshiped during Ayudha Pooja are Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth), Saraswati (Goddess of wisdom) and Parvati Devi (Goddess of Divinity). Ayudha Pooja is an enjoyable and the most important festival of India.

History and the story of Ayudha Pooja (Ayudha Puja) or Dussehra

Ayudha Pooja (Ayudha Puja) is a traditional festival from ancient times. It is believed that Ayudha Pooja is celebrated due to a good incident happened long before. There are two legends told which narrate the story of Ayudha Pooja and its commencement details.

Mahabharata and Arjuna’s tie up with Ayudha Pooja

According to the Historical significance, Mahabharata is one of the main epics for human life. Mahabharata is related to Ayudha Pooja in one aspect. Mahabharata, a war between the Pandavas and Gauravas was a real lesson for the livelihood of people.

Pandavas included the five incomparable men namely Bheeman ( Bhima), Arjuna, Nakulan, Sahadevan. Amongst everyone Arjuna is a courageous and brave man who excels as an Archer. Once upon a time, there happened an incident due to which Arjuna has to move to forest for his living as a punishment. Before he moved to a forest, he kept his weapons hidden in a tree. After his thirteen years of punishment, he returned back on Vijayadasami day and took out his weapons from the Shami tree. That day was very auspicious and full of holiness. Since Arjuna took out the weapons on that day, it is also celebrated as Ayudha Pooja. Ayudha Pooja is a day of prosperity and hence a new start on that day is considered to be auspicious.

Mahishasura Varthini – Legend of demolishing Evil

According to the Hindu Mythology, Goddess Chamundeshwari (Goddess Durga Devi) freed the world with her powerful weapons. She killed the demon called Mahishasuran who was very strong and mighty. Devas ruled the whole world by their amazing capabilities. The demons or the asuras were very jealous and always wanted to rule the world. Several asuras tried defeating the Devas but failed on every attempt. Then came the Mahishasura who was damn powerful and courageous. He led all the asuras in fighting against Devas.
Ayudha Pooja - Saraswati Puja - Saraswati Pooja (Dussehra) - The Festival of Triumph Celebration - Durga Pooja, Durga Devi

All the Devas decided to put their powers together to bring about the super power. That super power is a lady with ten hands named to be Goddess Durga Devi. She had ten weapons in all her ten hands. Mahishasura fought against the Goddess Durga Devi continuously. Both of them battled for nine days continuously. On the tenth day, Durga Devi sliced the head off from Mahishasuran body. That day was a Navami day. The death of Mahishasuran gave the enlightenment and peace for the world. Hence Ayudha Pooja or Dussehra or Vijayadasami (Vijayadashami) is celebrated on this day of extreme goodness.

Ayudha Pooja ceremony in Different places

South Indian Jubilation of Ayudha Pooja or Saraswati Pooja

In southern parts of India, Ayudha Pooja or so-called Saraswati Pooja is celebrated in a grand manner. Ayudha Pooja falls during Navratri (Navaratri) and hence has an additional significance. During Navratri, people of South India will celebrate another important festive ceremony called Golu (kolu). Golu is an interesting celebration which fully comprises of dolls (Bommai in Tamil).

Ayudha Pooja - Saraswati Puja - Saraswati Pooja (Dussehra) - The Festival of Triumph Celebration - Navratri Bommai Kolu, Navaratri Bomma Golu

All the dolls of God like Radha Krishnan, dancing and head shaking Tanjore Doll, Durga Devi, animals, birds, swing and so on items are kept on steps so as to show off magnificent attire. All the dolls will be kept for nine days and nine nights. Golu is a very auspicious occasion for having a bright future.

Ayudha Pooja - Saraswati Puja - Saraswati Pooja (Dussehra) - The Festival of Triumph Celebration - Navaratri, Navratri

Ceremonial proceedings of Ayudha Pooja (Ayudha Puja) or Saraswati Pooja (Saraswati Puja)

On the Navami day of Navratri season, Ayudha Pooja is celebrated. Pooja preparation starts from the prior day itself. You should start with the cleaning works starting from vessels to the entire house. Everything must be cleaned in advance to carry out the Pooja at the earliest. After cleaning and washing, Santhanam (Sandalwood) is sprinkled on all the things which are being used. Then kumkum is placed on top of Santhanam sprinkles. Floral decorations and thoranams have to be hung in the entrance of the house.

Navratri Prasad - Navaratri Prasadam - Ayudha Pooja - Ayudha Puja - Saraswati Puja - Saraswati Pooja - Dussehra

Next step is to make sweets and snacks including Suyyam, Kadalaiparuppu Paayasam, Sundal, Medhuvadai, etc. For lunch, Sambar, Rasam, vegetable curry, the vegetable fry will be made.

Ayudha Pooja - Saraswati Puja - Saraswati Pooja (Dussehra) - The Festival of Triumph Celebration - Sundal Prasadam

All the items prepared are kept in reference to Gods. Goddess Durga Devi, Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati are the main gods of worship. The lamp is lighted and Pooja is commenced with a good fragrance of Agarbathi and Sambraani. Then water is sprinkled for three times in a circular manner as a tradition. With that, the procedures for Ayudha Pooja is over. This is the formal procedure for Ayudha Pooja or Saraswati Pooja followed in Asian countries like India, Sri Lanka and most importantly in Southern parts of India.

Ayudha Pooja - Saraswati Puja - Saraswati Pooja (Dussehra) - The Festival of Triumph Celebration - Ayudha Puja, Auto Pooja

Vijayadasami or Vijayadashami

Ayudha Puja also called as Vijayadasami is considered as a day of complete fortune. On the day of Ayudha Pooja or Vijayadasami or Saraswati Pooja, small kids who haven’t entered school are admitted into school. Before that, Goddess Saraswati is prayed for giving prosperous wisdom. After sincere Prayers, Child’s hand is grabbed by parents and the first word of Tamil is drawn on Paddy rice. This is followed as a traditional custom and it is believed that Goddess Saraswati will bless with enormous knowledge. Vijayadasami is a very good day for a bright startup. Anyone starting a new venture can proceed with their work on Ayudha Pooja for an enlightened success.

Ayudha Pooja - Saraswati Puja - Saraswati Pooja (Dussehra) - The Festival of Triumph Celebration - Puli Vesham, Pulivesam

Celebration of Holistic Dussehra in North India

In North sides of India, the same festival is named to be Dussehra (Dasara) which enacts the killing of Demon. The festival will be celebrated for ten long days which portrays the war between Durga Devi and Demon Mahishasuran. Or in other words, we can call it as the celebration of the conquest of good over bad. During Dussehra or Ayudha Pooja, Barley plant will be planted on the first day of Dussehra. The barley will start sprouting and at the end of the festival, it will be used by people. The people of North India will take the sprouts and keep it with them as a thing of Luckiness.

Along with these practices, prayers will also be done with sweets and presents during Ayudha Puja or Dussehra. In some other parts of North India, People used to celebrate Ayudha Pooja or Dasara will start with the worshiping of Lord Rama. Ramayana and its related scenes will be acted in stages as a custom. Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana is taken into consideration for this traditional practice. However the festival is being celebrated, Ayudha Pooja or Dussehra has the same kind of goodness and spirituality.

Ayudha Pooja and its delights of Celebration

Ayudha Pooja - Saraswati Puja - Saraswati Pooja (Dussehra) - The Festival of Triumph Celebration - Ayudha Puja

Ayudha Pooja altogether has an unbeatable celebration fun and enjoyment. We have seen the celebration of Ayudha Pooja or Saraswati Pooja or Dussehra in different methodologies in different places. Only the method of celebration varies from place to place but the main theme of it is the same. The festival of Ayudha Pooja not only gives wealth to people but also offers the unlimited wisdom of everything. Festival also teaches an incomparable behavior of lending to the needy. It is really a very big sacredness when you just give whatever you have at least.  It does not matter how big or small it is but the action you are doing is valuable. Hope so you gained a satisfied explanation on Ayudha Pooja and Saraswati Pooja as well as about Dussehra. Have a great celebration of Ayudha Pooja!!

Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples, Shrines of 5 elements of Nature

Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples, Shrines of 5 elements of Nature

Pancha Bhoota (five elements of nature) refers to the five faces of Lord Shiva. In this platform, you are going to find the five temples dedicated to the five faces of Lord Shiva. In this post, you are about to know the location of the five temples of Pancha Bhootams and its spiritual specialties. Dravidian also describes you with the rituals done at each temple showing each face of Lord Shiva (ie) Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples, Shrines of 5 elements of Nature, five elements of lord Shiva, five faces of lord Shiva.

Pancha Bhoota Stalam – Holy Temples of Lord Shiva and his five faces

1. Thillai Natarajar temple, Chidambaram – Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples

Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples, Shrines of 5 elements of Nature - Thillai Natarajar Temple Tower, Chidambaram

Natarajar, a form of Lord Shiva (Thillai Koothan), is the main divinity of Chidambaram. Natarajar temple is one of the Pancha Bhoota stalams representing Sky and hence blots to be one of the famous temples in Tamil Nadu. Natarajar Temple Representing one of the Oldest Ancient Dravidian Architecture.   He is the Lord of traditional dance of Tamil Nadu – Bharatanatyam. Thillai is a form of tree surrounding the temple.It is believed that Lord Shiva danced Anandha Thandavam on Pon Ambalam of this temple. Another specialty of that temple is the Chidambaram secret which is kept furtive till date.

Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples, Shrines of 5 elements of Nature - Thillai Natarajar Temple, Chidambaram

2. Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval – Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples

Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples, Shrines of 5 elements of Nature - Jambukeswarar Temple Tower, Thiruvanaikaval

The main shrines of this temple are Lord Jambukeswarar (Lord Shiva) and Akilandeswari (Goddess Parvati). The temple is located in Srirangam of Trichy and was built in the 2nd century AD. It has two big Gopurams(gateway towers) with mind blowing artifacts. This temple is marked to be one of the Pancha bootha stalam since it represents the element Water. The sanctum of the god has an underground stream which is always filled with water. Hence it is called to be one of the famous temples in Tamil Nadu.

Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples, Shrines of 5 elements of Nature - Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval

3. Annamalaiyar Temple, Tiruvannamalai – Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples

Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples, Shrines of 5 elements of Nature - Annamalaiyar Temple Tower, Tiruvannamalai

Annamalaiyar or Arunachaleswarar Temple is located at Tiruvannamalai with Lord Shiva as the main deity. It has 4 Gopurams, thousand pillar hall and 11 stories thereby standing to a height of 66m. It is considered to be the tallest among the famous temples in Tamil Nadu. During Karthikai Deepam festival there will be lighting by pilgrimages and navigation around the hill called Girivalam. Fire, one of the five elements of nature is represented by this temple.

Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples, Shrines of 5 elements of Nature - Annamalaiyar Temple, Tiruvannamalai

4. Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchipuram – Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples

Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples, Shrines of 5 elements of Nature - Ekambareswarar Temple Tower, Kanchipuram

Ekambareswarar is the name of Lord Shiva who is the main divinity. One of the chief tourists specks amongst the famous temples in Tamil Nadu. As a holy pilgrimage site, this temple represents the Earth of the five elements of nature. Tallest Gopuram in India is found in this temple.

Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples, Shrines of 5 elements of Nature - Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchipuram

Only four element representing temples are residing in Tamil Nadu.The fifth one which represents the wind is the Srikalahasti Temple in Andhra Pradesh.

Srikalahasteeswara Temple, SriKalahasti, Andhra Pradesh

Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples, Shrines of 5 elements of Nature - Srikalahasteeswara Temple Tower, Srikalahasti

Srikalahasti temple is one and only temple of Pancha Bhoota stalam (five faces of Shiva) located in Andhra Pradesh. The temple symbolizes the power of the wind which is in the form of Vayu (air) Lingam. The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva who is called by the name of Sri Kalahasteeswarar. Goddess Parvati is in the form of Gnana Prasunamba along with Lord Kalahasteeswarar. The temple has the separate shrines for the other gods namely Lord Vinayaga(Ganesh or Vinayaka), Lord Dakshinamurthy, Lord Murugan and Navagrahas. Kalahasti temple is also named as the Kailash of the South because of its religious importance.

Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples, Shrines of 5 elements of Nature - Srikalahasteeswara Temple, Srikalahasti
Kalahasti is also one of the famous tourist spots in India. Other highlights of the temple are the architectural sculptures and a beautiful environment around. Dravidian culture and architecture are exhibited in the finest way on Kalahasteeswarar temple. Year after year tourists and visitors to Kalahasti temple is increasing on a large scale.

Pancha Bhoota Stalams and its relation to Five faces of Lord Shiva

Pancha Bhoota Stalams are the ancient holy sites of a visit. Each Temple has its own resemblance of the respective element. In each temple, Lord Shiva will be in unique posture in each temple symbolizing his five faces. You can visit all the temples at any time since there are no time constraints. You can thoroughly experience an extraordinary peace of mind by visiting the temples. Location of the temple also has many tourist spots for your jubilation. You can even visit those spots as a part of your tour. Altogether, Pancha Bhoota Stalams will not only provide you the spirit of Lord Shiva but also the nature of each element. Visit the Five temples of Lord Shiva to experience the real joy of spirituality.