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January 9, 2017

How To Celebrate Thiruvathirai At Home | Arudhra Darshan Celebration

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How to celebrate thiruvathirai at home

Significance of Arudra darshan

Soure:wiki and google

Thiruvathirai /Arudhra darshan is a popular Hindu festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Arudhra Darshan or Arudara Darshan is observed in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December – January) on Thiruvathirai Nakshathram day. In this year 2023, it falls on 27th December, Wednesday. Thiruvathirai(Arudhra) in Tamil means "sacred big wave". It is essentially a Shaivite festival and celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, which is represented by the Nataraja form. Arudra festival is celebrated with fervor in Lord Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia and in other parts of the world by Tamil speaking population. In Kerala, this festival is primarily celebrated by women. 

The most important Arudhra Darisanam festival takes place at the Chidambaram Lord Nataraja Temple in Tamil Nadu. In Thillai Chidambaram temple, 10 day Festival is held during Thiruvathirai. Arudhra signifies the golden red flame and Lord Shiva performs in the form of this red-flamed light. The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva represents five activities – Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. In essence, it represents the continuous cycle of creation and destruction. Arudra Darshan celebrates this ecstatic dance of Lord Shiva.

It takes place on the full moon night in the month of Margazhi and this is also the longest night in a year. The festival is mainly observed in the Tamil speaking world. Many people observe fasting / Nombu vratham on this day. Women will fast during the day time. They will take food before sunrise and start their fasting. They will break the fast after witnessing the moon rise. 

Some people observe fasting for 10 days. So Nonbu (fasting) starts nine days before and ends on Thiruvathirai day. So totally they fast for ten days. There is special food called Thiruvadhirai kali made of Rice, Jaggery, Moong dhal, Coconut, Cardamom and Ghee with Thiruvathirai ezhu curry kootu which is made out of seven vegetables, that is cooked and served on this day.  (Source: wikipedia). We also make Thiruvathirai adai using rice flour and jaggery in addition to Kali and kootu. 

As per the Puranaas, on this day Lord Shiva has shown this blissful dance that energizes this world to two of his devotees - Vyagrapadha and Adisesha (on whom Lord Vishnu Reside). Hence this day is celebrated, in appreciation of the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, by offering Prayers to the Nataraja aspect of the Lord.

Special prayers are held on the day at all Shiva temples. Milk, honey, water, sandal paste and other cooling liquids are offered to Lord Shiva on this day. This is to cool a burning and turbulent Shiva who is performing the Tandava – the cosmic dance of Nataraja. Special abhishekam, rituals and celebrations are held on the night of Thiruvathirai.

Thiruvathirai nombu
Thiruvathirai Celebration in my house :)

Our Celebration

In our house, we celebrate this festival in a grand manner by offering thiruvathirai kali, ezhu kai kootu and thiruvathirai adai made of rice flour and jaggery to Lord Nataraja. We also draw maakolam all over our house. My MIL draws a procession car(Thaer) with Shiva lingam in the wall of pooja room and consider it as idol. We tie a yellow rope in our hands after the pooja. I have shared our pooja procedures in detail. Please check it. You can follow/alter this method based on your tradition.

How to celebrate thiruvathirai
Celebration in my MIL's house :)

How to celebrate thiruvathirai

Visit my in-laws blog LEARN KOLAM for Thiruvathirai Kolam

Ingredients Required
  • Raw rice
  • Moong dal
  • Jaggery
  • Rice flour
  • Cardamom powder
  • Grated coconut
  • Ghee
  • Butter
  • Any 7 vegetables ( Raw banana, sweet potato, yam, yellow pumpkin, broad beans, arbi, field beans, mochai, brinjal, chow chow, cluster beans, ladies finger)
  • Green chilli
  • Cumin seeds
  • Coconut oil
  • Tempering ingredients for kootu
For Pooja
  • Coconut
  • Betel leaves and nuts ( 7 each)
  • Fruits ( 7 banana)
  • Banana leaves ( 7 leaves)
  • Turmeric pieces ( 7 nos)
  • Yellow rope ( to tie around wrist or neck)
  • Lamp, wick
  • Incense stick, camphor
Thiruvathirai celebration

Pre Preparatory activities

The previous day, clean the house. Wash the lamps, put the wick. Keep turmeric, kumkum dots & make it ready for the next day neivedyam. We have the practice of drawing procession car ( thear) in the wall of pooja room as shown in the first picture and in the entrance of house. We draw maa kolam in the house entrance and in pooja room.

 As mine is a wooden pooja room shelf, I draw in a paper & keep it as GOD and I draw maakolam at the house entrance alone.We keep 7 dots using viboodhi, manjal, kumkum, sandal, kajal( Kanmai), red saandhu , rice flour in the middle of thear picture for this nonbu. We keep 7 betel leaves, 7 nuts, 7 banana, 7 turmeric pieces, 2 yellow ropes (for me & my daughter) in a plate & keep in front of God. All these things are time consuming jobs. So we do it the previous day night & keep them ready. If you don’t have this practice at home, just do the pooja by keeping a Lord Nataraja or Lord Shiva photo in the auspicious time.

We make kali, 7 kai kootu, adai, cooked rice, thayir pachadi, dal/paruppu and sambar for neivedyam. So we do some pre-preparatory works for cooking as well. We roast rice + dal, powder & keep it for kali. We chop the vegetables for kootu & sambar and refrigerate it in a box.

Thiruvathirai day 

On Festival day, we should do the pooja in the early morning in auspicious time. This year as it falls on Wednesday, we should do the pooja before 7.30am ( Avoid rahu kalam, yama kandam). So start the cooking activities by 6 am. Prepare thirivathirai kali, adai & kootu ( Rice, dal, sambar, thayir pachadi). Decorate the pooja room with flowers and light the lamp. 

Arrange all the neivedyam dishes in the banana leaf. Keep a plate with banana, coconut, betel leaf and nut, turmeric pieces along with yellow rope. Do the pooja by showing dhoop, dheep and mangala harathi. After doing the pooja, tie the yellow rope around your wrist or neck.
Enjoy kali, kootu and adai !!

DISCLAIMER : The pooja procedures I have shared above is as per my family’s practice. Many people don’t have the habit of drawing thear, maakolam, offering adai. Even my mom makes kali and kootu for thiruvathirai and offers them in front of Lord Nataraja picture for pooja. So take this post as a guidance and change it according to your custom.

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Unknown said...

Thanks for your info.keep up the great work...

Unknown said...

Good one... Will be helpful for many.

Thank you for the write-up. Its the same way as my mom does. - Kalai

Chitra said...

Happy to know it :) Thank you !

meenu said...

Arudra darshan is a hindu festival.It takes the full night of tamil month of margazli and it is longest night in the year.Workship lord shiva on arudra darshan to increase will power and energy.To Know MoreClick Here

Pattu said...

Mam, what is the Koran that u have drawn below the banana leaf ?

Chitra said...

Hi, it's the same thear kolam that is shown in the next picture. But we have drawn a border around it.

Pattu said...

Mam, Many thanks for your immediate reply.. I think I have seen a kolam in your blog where we draw sun, moon, comb, mirror etc., I am searching google for the past two days but unable to locate the kolam or the festival associated with that..Can u please help?

Chitra said...

Hi, yes it is for Chitra pournami celebration. There is a post in my blog.