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May 8, 2017

How To Celebrate Chitra Pournami At Home – Pooja Procedure & Recipes

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Chitra pournami pooja celebration at home
Hello Friends, In this post, I have shared the importance of Chitra Pournami – (A festival with my name;)) celebration, how to celebrate it at home with its pooja procedures as per my family’s practice. I have also shared the links for Chitra pournami recipes for neivedyam. Hope this post would be helpful for beginners. I must thank my Mother-in-law for giving me detailed guidance about this celebration. Please visit my in-laws blog “ LEARN KOLAM” for Rangoli/ Kolam ideas for this festival.

Chitra Pournami is a ceremony observed on the Poornima day (Full moon day) in the Tamil month of Chithirai that falls any day between April 15th – May 15th. This year 2024, it falls on 23rd April ( i.e on Tuesday). Chitra pournami is one of the important festivals celebrated in Tamil nadu. 
This auspicious day is celebrated as Chitragupta’s Birthday. Chitra Pournami /Chithirai pournami (in Tamil) ritual commemorates Chitra gupta who is known as the assistant of Lord Yama, the God of Death. Chitra means collection of Pictures and Gupta means Hidden. Chitra Poornima is the day dedicated to Chitra Gupta, the Keeper of Deeds. Lord Brahma created Chitra Gupta through the Sun God and he is considered as the younger brother of Lord Yama. It is believed that Chitra Gupta examines the good and bad performances of each individual. 

When a person dies, his soul first goes to Lord Yama, where Chitragupta tallies the deeds and report it to Yama. He reads out the good and bad deeds of the person. He is the Devata for planet Kedhu. Worshipping Chitra Gupta on this day would ward of kedhu dhosha in one's horoscope.Worshipping Vinayaka also ward of this dosha. There is only one temple in South India for Chitragupta at Kanchipuram. Chitra Pournami is a very auspicious day here. The day is also dedicated to Indra, the head of Devas. It is on this day that the star Chitra and Pournami (full moon) come together.

On this day, special poojas are conducted at temples and people take bath in holy rivers and temple ponds to wash away the sins committed and to bag the virtue for the life beyond. Chitra Pournami is the time where your sins can all be cleansed. Many people would observe fasting ( Viratham in Tamil) and make the sacred walk on Chitra pournami day in Tiruvannamalai. Offering food to the poor and needy people during this night would receive the blessing from the Almighty directly, along with this you can vanish the bad karma which is on you. To know more about this festival, please check my FIL's post in Learn Kolam.

Source :

In our home, every year we used to celebrate Chitra pournami in a grand manner by drawing maakolam all over the house and by offering Navadhaniyam ( 9 varieties of grains) in a Muram , Vellai pongal ( without salt, உப்பு  சேர்க்காத பொங்கல்)), Sweet pidi kozhukattai, Raw mango pachadi, Panagam and neer mor for neivedyam. 

So based on ours I have shared the details of Chitra Pournami celebration procedure below with pictures. Hope you will find it helpful. Tamil brahmins have their own way of celebration which may differ from this. So please consult the elders of your family if you have any doubts regarding your tradition.

Chitra Pournami Kolam
This kolam is from my in-laws blog Learn kolam. We usually draw this thear kolam for Chitra Pournami.Click the above picture to see the video

Our Celebration Procedure

Ingredients needed for pooja & neivedyam

For Pooja
  • Winnowing basket / Muram in Tamil
  • New mud pot for making pongal, keeping panagam and neer mor ( This is optional)
  • 9 grains ( Navadhaniyam – Any 9 from this list :  Chana/chickpeas( brown & white), Green moong dal, Masoor dal, Toor dal,Urad dal ( Black or white), Peas, Rajma, Black eyed peas ( karamani), Ragi, Wheat, Arisi nel ( unhusked rice), Yellow moong dal, chana dal )
  • Raw rice ( maavu arisi ) Or Rice flour to draw maakolam ( Visit THIS LINK to check maakolam)
  • Raw Mango – 1 no for keeping near muram.
  • Indian Hand Fan / Kai visiri in Tamil (விசிறி)
  • One full coconut ( It would be better if its with mattai/shell)
  • One paper written with “Chithiranar Puthiranar Sivanadiyar Perungkanakar”)
  • One Pen
  • Lamp, wick, Oil/ghee, matchbox, incense stick, dhoop, camphor
  • Betel leaf & nut ( Vetrilai paaku), banana ( 2 nos) and one coconut
For Neivedyam
  • Raw rice(Maavu arisi) if making homemade rice flour for sweet pidi kozhukattai OR Store bought modak flour (kozhukattai maavu).
  • Raw mango, Jaggery, Green chilli for making Mango pachadi.
  • Curd, water, ginger, green chilli, seasoning ingredients for neer mor.
  • Raw rice ( Good quality sona masoori) for making white pongal without salt.
  • Water,edible camphor, jaggery, cardamom, cloves for making panagam.
Chitra Pournami Recipes

Neivedyam Recipes

Rice varieties

Some people have the practice of making 5 rice varieties along with sweet pongal on this day. 
We do this for Aadi 18 / Aadi perukku. Please check the link below for rice varieties if you want to try them. 

Our Celebration

Pre – Preparation

On the previous night of Chitra Pournami, we wash the lamps, keep turmeric, kumkum dots, put thread and keep it ready for the next day. Sweep the house and keep it clean. Usually we make sweet pidi kozhukattai using homemade rice flour. So we prepare the homemade rice flour in advance and keep it ready for next day’s use.

 We draw maakolam in the entrance and in front of pooja room. Usually we draw thear kolam in the entrance and pooja room. Foot of Chitra gupta along with an umbrella, hand fan, stick,foot of bull, foot of horse and flag should also be drawn. Refer picture below. You should draw it from entrance till pooja room just the way you put Lord Krishna feet for Gokulashtami/Krishna jayanthi. It is believed that Chitra Gupta is entering our house on this day. Refer the picture below.

Chitra pournami kolam

Wash the muram and divide into 9 parts by drawing segments using maakolam. Keep 9 types of grains/ Navadhaniyam in them as shown in the picture. Keep a fresh bunch of neem flower if you have. I have kept some dried flowers.You should also keep a coconut, raw mango and palm hand fan nearby the muram.

 I have kept sandalwood hand fan as I don’t have palm hand fan ( Please refer the first picture of this post). In a white paper, write “Chithiranaar Puthiranaar Sivanadiyaar Perungkanakkar” ( "சித்திர  புத்திரனார் சிவனடியார் பெருங்கணக்கர் ") and keep a Pen nearby. 

Place a raw mango & coconut in the muram. My MIL says "Kothoda manga kulaioda thengai" is placed in olden days. Please refer the picture given below. Keep this muram ready the previous night itself.

Chitra pournami celebration at home
Chitra pournami celebration
On Festival Day

The next day early morning ( around 6 am), we take head bath and start to make dishes for neivedyam. We make sweet Pidi kozhukattai by mixing the 1 cup of homemade rice flour in jaggery syrup ( 1 cup grated jaggery & 1.25 cups of water) adding 1/4 tsp of cardamom powder & 2 tbsp of grated coconut. 

Make shapes using fingers and steam it in an idli pot. In the mean time, wash and pressure cook 1/2 cup of raw rice adding 2.5 cups of water. Cook for 2 whistle in very low flame. Remove and mash the rice. Transfer to a bowl. Make a dent in the center. Keep a small piece of banana, jaggery and add a tsp of ghee.  If you wish you can make a no onion no garlic sambar as well.

 Then make Panagam by mixing water, jaggery, a pinch of edible camphor, crushed cloves, cardamom. Make neer mor and temper it. Keep all the neivedyam dishes in mud pots and plates if you have. Every year my MIL used to buy a new mud pot for making pongal and serving panakam, neer mor. She buy 3 pots ever year. But that practice has become obsolete now.

In an auspicious time of the day, light the lamp and keep the neivedyam in front of God. Avoid Rahu Kalam and Yama kandam. Place the muram ( winnowing basket) with 9 grains, hand written paper & pen. In a plate, keep betel leaves, nuts, banana and a coconut. Keep the panakam, neer mor in bowls.Sweet pidi kozhukattai  and white pongal in a plate. Show the deep, dhoop and mangala harathi.Finish the pooja. If you wish, you can read the story of Chitra Gupta and chant some slokhas as well.  

This is how we celebrate Chitra Pournami festival in our house. There may be slight variations in the celebration procedures based on your tradition. Consult the elders in your home and do the changes accordingly. Some people also make Vada, Payasam for lunch.

If you wish, you can offer food to the poor & needy on this night to get the blessings of Almighty and remove the bad karma on you. I hope this post would help you to get some idea of Chitra Pournami celebration. Share your celebration procedure too.

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Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Nice post.Nice information.Chitra Pournami is a popular tamil festival.The moon is in full brilliance on the Pournami day. It is sign of positive energy.Worshipping Goddess Chandi On the day of Chitra Pournami is very auspicious.Nava Chandi Homam is one of the best ways to get rid of evil, usher in joy, wealth and positivity.This Homam bestows upon the devotee success, fame, wealth, good health, longevity, provides food, strength, prosperity and removes fear of diseases and dangers. It keeps all enemies in check and calms down the malefic effects of planets.To Know More About Click Here

Unknown said...

A relevant post for people who cannot remember but want to get back to lost traditions. Thank you. I found it v useful

Chitra said...

Thank you:)

jahnu said...

Very nice and informative post. Thank you very much.

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

This will be my 3 rd year following ur tips on this special occasion .thanks.

Chitra said...

Happy to know that. Thank you so much :)

Rajvalli said...

Thnks Chitra for such a detailed information for all pooja articles. It's very helpful. Hats off for ur efforts. In this time of information through videos , still ur webpage is a great reference before every pooja. Thanks once again.

Rajvalli said...

Thnks Chitra for such a detailed information for all pooja articles. It's very helpful. Hats off for ur efforts. In this time of information through videos , still ur webpage is a great reference before every pooja. Thanks once again.

Chitra said...

Thank you. Glad you find it helpful 😊

Chitra said...

Thank you so much :)

Unknown said...

Very informative.i was searching for this kolam for long grandma used to draw the same.
Thank you verymuch

Chitra said...

Thank you very much😊

Unknown said...

What do you do with the offered whole coconut and mango after the pooja ?? Please reply. The items on the winowing basket is offered to priest. Can the mango and coconut be used for cooking ????

Chitra said...

Hi, Yes you can use the coconut and mango in your cooking.

Unknown said...

Thanks a lot chitra for replying