Karthigai Deepam is a typical festival of lights of the southern part of India and is an extension of Deepavali festival and similar to Bhai Duj or Raksha Bandhan. It is observed in every home and every temple in Tamil Nadu in Tamil month of Kaarthigai (November and December) for 10 days.
This festival occurs when the moon is seen fully in the sky. Karthigai Deepam is celebrated during Purnima or full moon day when the moon is in line with the six star constellation called Kaarthigai (Pleiades). The six stars are considered in Indian mythology as the six celestial nymphs who reared the six babies in the saravana tank which later were joined together to form the six faced Muruga. He is therefore called Karthikeya, the one brought up by the Karthigai nymphs.
This festival is also known as Annamalai Deepam. Here, a special torch is lighted on the zenith of the hill and it is believed that Lord Shiva’s jothi will be visible on this day.
Lord Muruga took the form of six babies in a lake called “Saravana Poigai”. On this day, all his six forms were united by Parvathi (his mother) and this way, he had six faces. Special poojas are performed to Lord Muruga.
The ideology of the festival is that “the sisters pray for their brothers’ well being and the brothers in turn, promise to safeguard the sisters in times of trouble. This festival also involves the lighting of lamps in the homes, temples and the workplace. The idea behind this festival is to keep away bad things from life and welcome the good and holy things of life. Beautifully lit lamps are found all around the home to bring in happiness to the home.
All the people make merry, wear new clothes and rejoice with happiness. They exchange gifts and try to meet all their relatives during the festival. On this day, people clean the houses. In the evening, they draw kolams (rangoli) in the front of the house and also place some lamps on it. This is like a family get-together.
Karthigai Deepam 2016 Date :
Karthigai Deepam is celebrated on 12 December 2016.