The word Aadi is originated from the Sanskrit word ‘Aashadi’. This is the fourth month in Tamil Calendar (July – August) and this month is considered as the most auspicious month for worshipping gods and goddesses. So this month is full of temple festivals.
Here are the important festivals and auspicious days in Aadi Masam.
Aadi Pirappu – Aadi Pandigai – The first day of Aadi is observed as Aadi Pirappu. It means beginning of the month. The day begins with the making of huge kolams (Rangoli designs) in front of the home. The kolam is drawn on all days of the month. The kolams are bordered with red color – Kaavi. Doorways are decorated with mango leaves. The day begins with pujas and visit to temple. There will be a feast on the day with special delicacies include payasam, vadai, boli etc. On the first day of Aadi, married women change the yellow thread in their Mangalsutra or thali. It is also an important festival to newly-weds. The first of the month is marked with a special puja, followed by a feast with ‘payasam’ prepared with coconut milk, ‘puran poli’ and vadai. Traditionally, the family of a new son-in-law is invited to the girl’s house, where the couple is gifted new clothes and other presents.
Dakshinayana Punyakalam – the night of the Devas, begins on the first day of the month Aadi. Some communities perform Tarpanam on the day. The sun changes its direction during this period and next six months is the night time of the gods. Due to this reason, no auspicious events are held in the month.
Aadi Chevvai – every Tuesdays in Aadi Masam is highly auspicious.
Aadi Velli – every Fridays in the Aadi Masam is also considered auspicious but 1st & 3rd Friday of Aadi Masam is considered the most auspicious day.
Aadi Karthigai – festival dedicated to Lord Muruga.
Aadi Amavasi – No moon day in Aadi month dedicated to offering Shradh and Tarpanam to dead ancestors.
Aadi Pooram – The day is dedicated to Andal. This month is the birth (Avathara) month of Sri Andal (one among 12 great Alwars of Sri Vaishnavism). The Aadi Pooram ten-day festival is celebrated in all Lord Vishnu Temples. This 10th day is also celebrated as Thirukalyanam (divine marriage of the God and the Goddess). Special pujas are also conducted on this day. It is believed that if unmarried girls worship Goddess Andal on the 10th day of Adi Pooram festvial, they will get married soon. In the Saiva temples, this day is celebrated as the Valaikappu festival for Ambal, when glass bangles are offered to Ambal & then distributed to the devotees. These bangles are said to provide offsprings and generally protect us from all evils. (Valaikaappu is a festival when a pregnant woman wears glass bangles, the sound of which is said to protect her and the child from evil forces).
Varalakshmi Puja – Worship of Goddess Lakshmi. The Friday before the Full Moon, or Pournami day, of Tamil Month Aadi is chosen to perform Varalakshmi Puja. Worshipping Goddess Lakshmi on Varalakshmi Vrata day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalaksmi – the eight goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Learning, Love, Fame, Peace, Pleasure, and Strength. The importance of Varalakshmi Puja is mentioned in the Skanda Purana. It is believed that importance of Varalakshmi Puja was narrated to Goddess Parvati by Lord Shiva. Goddess Parvati wanted to know about a Vrata that is highly beneficial to a woman, which will help her lead a happy and prosperous life on earth. Lord Shiva then mentioned about the Varamahalakshmi Vratam.
Aadi Perukku – The festival is dedicated to Kaveri River and falls on the eighteenth day in Aadi Masam. The people of Tamil Nadu celebrate monsoon through this festival. People worship the rivers (water bodies) for the rains in abundance. Aadi is the month for sowing, rooting, planting of seeds and vegetation since it is peak monsoon time. On this auspicious day, Goddess Parvathi Devi is worshipped by offering different rice dishes. People celebrate this occasion by offering chitrannam or rice cooked in different flavors, colors and ingredients to the river-goddess. Usually mixed rice dishes like Sweet Pongal, Coconut rice, Lemon rice, Tamarind rice and Bahala bath or curd rice are prepared. Offerings of flowers, Akshata and rice offerings are done into sacred rivers like Cauveri. As per Purana, Parvathi devi meditated upon Lord Siva to see the divine vision and Lord Siva appeared as Shanka-Naraya swami. Aadiperukku is a festival of fertility and people of Tamil Nadu especially women offer prayers. They wear new clothes and perform abhishekham for Kaveri amman.
Aadi is a month of fervour and observances in Godess whereby prayers and pujas are offered to propitiate the powerful goddesses and seek their protection from the inauspicious aspects that are often associated with the month. The month of Aadi is considered very auspicious to connect oneself to this Divine power.
In spite of all these festivals, Aadi is being said as inauspicious month for human related celebration like marriages, shifting new houses and buying new clothes as during this month as during this month, God goes to sleep and they are not in active mood so the marriage may not be blessed by god. There is a saying that newly married couples should not stay together because if newly married people stay together in this month, childbirth may take place during summer causing health problems to both mother and child.
The actual reason behind this is that the month of Aadi is that this is a month of Goddess and most celebrated month for Goddess Lakshmi and Durga. So, in a conscious that one should dedicate his time completely to their deities alone and not waste their time in any other human related activities like marriages or other events. So, no marriages are being done in the month of Aadi and Margazhi. And this also applies to Tuesdays where we don’t see many marriage events occuring. But this was wrongly interpreted and conveyed as inauspicious month and one should not do any good activities during these months which will not be successful.