Aippasi is seventh month in the Tamizh calendar from October 16 – November 16. This happens to be the most festive month as the biggest festival in India – Diwali falls in this month.
Aippasi pournami is Annabishekam in all Sivan temples. The Siva lingam is covered with cooked rice and also decorated with vegetables and fruits around. This is basically a thanksgiving to the Lord for providing us with Annam! It is a great sight to see the Lingam fully covered with white cooked rice with the fruits and vegetables lending colour! Witnessing Annabishekam is said to relieve one from the cycles of birth.
I have heard that it is a magnificient sight to see the annabishekham at the Brihadeewarar temple in Thanjavur as the Lingam is really huge there.
This year Aippasi Pournami was on 22 October
This great festival falls on Aippasi Amavasya
This festival of lights is said to have been started with the celebration of Rama’s return to Ayodya after vanavasam. Another story is that when Krishna defeated Narakasura, this Asuran requested Krishna that his death be celebrated as festival of lights. Whatever the story behind may be, this is one festival which is not regional but celebrated all over our country.
When we were kids, our priority was crackers, new clothes and then sweets in that order!
These days crackers have the least priority. What with the pollution it causes and the child labour involved in making the crackers, it is good that nowadays children give less importance to this, but I personally cannot imagine a Diwali without crackers! When we were kids, I remember that Appa used to make a detailed list of crackers keeping every family member’s interest in mind (and ofcourse the budget!). Bursting the crackers was a pucca family thing with right from my grandfather participating in it. I am happy that even in 2008, my Thatha at 95 years of age enthusiastically accepted my request and burst some electric crackers along with my Chittappa (73 years) and Appa (75 years)!
Nowadays Diwali means shopping! The offers given on every item right from clothes, household applicances to jewellery is incredible but good fun and of real use if you have a need, else it is just that you go to the shop planning to spend a few thousands and end up spending double or treble the amount thanks to the various offers!
The sweets! The variety available is unimaginable! And that too all the packs decorated beautifully that you don’t have the heart to open the packaging!
There are so many types available in the market that people prefer it to buy from the shops and gift to others rather than distributing home made stuff. But still sweets – at least two or three varieties with a couple of different savouries are made at home.
Diwali day starts with oil bath. Traditionally, one is not supposed to take oil bath on amavasya day but Diwali is an exception. This is why oil bath is taken before sunrise as this means that day has not officially begun! The Holy Ganga water is said to flow through our water taps and hence the term “ganga snanam” for the bath on Diwali day.
After the oil bath, new clothes are a must be it a grand or a simple one!
In our place, the first thing you have to pop into your mouth right after brushing is diwali marunthu – my mother makes this at home with so many medicinal ingredients bought from naatu marunthu kadai. Nowadays, readymade marunthu is available in naatu marunthu kadai. This is supposed to help our digestive system as we really give it a lot of work even from few days before Diwali! We give our system further work with a heavy feast for lunch!
Again these days, Diwali means TV programme for many. All the channels compete with telecast of patti mandram and new movies and Diwali celebration of one star or the other. This has resulted in less interaction with relatives on this day as TV takes the prime place!
Diwali is on 05 November this year
Right after Diwali Kanda Sashti festival starts. It starts on the first day after Diwali amavasya and ends on the sixth day – Sashti
Lord Muruga fought with Soorapadman on these six days and defeated him on Sashti.
This is celebrated in a grand scale in all Murugan temples and the celebration at Tiruchendur is supposed to be the best. Last year, I had the opportunity to witness the Soorasamharam at Vadapalani temple, thanks to my sister Jayashree.
Kanda Sashti is from 06 November to 11 November 2010.
The greatest Tamizh King – Raja Raja chozhan was born on Aippasi Sadhayam and his birthday is celebrated on this day even now. This year I hope the celebration will be even more what with the completion of 1000 years of the Brihadeeswara temple built by this great King.
Aippasi sadhayam falls on 15 November 2010
The last day of Aippasi is said to be Kadaimugam. Bathing in river Cauvery on this day is said to be very sacred. This is on 16 November this year.