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Aadi Monsoon Festival
|Also called||Aadiperukku, Translation: Aadi Monsoon Festival|
|Observances||Prayers, Mulaipari, Religious rituals (see puja, prashad)|
|Date||Decided by the Hindu Tamil calendar|
|2013 date||Saturday, 3rd August|
|2014 date||August 3|
Adiperukku (also written as Aadiperukku) is a Tamil festival celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Adi (mid-July to mid-August). In 2014, it is on August 3. The festival pays tribute to water's life-sustaining properties. For the blessing of mankind with peace, prosperity and happiness, Nature worship in the form of Amman deities are organized to shower Nature’s bountiful grace on human beings.
The goddess, as Pachai Amman, is a manifestation of divine design, to establish peace and harmony in the world. Pachai amman or Kanni amman appeared in many local spots which exhibited holy centers by inherent energy presence and influence of over that localities. In the manifestation of Pachai Amman in Thirumullaivaayal, the amman deity was successful in establishing peace and prosperity in this world. She is called the goddess of marriage as she blesses those awaiting marriage to enter into wedlock. There is a tall statue of Ayyanar housed in Pachai amman temple of Thirumullaivaayal which is an added attraction. A tank near the temple is said to possess medicinal properties. Devotees surge to have a rendezvous with the goddess on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays and more specially on Aadi month.
Monsoon festivals of South India
Adiperukku is a unique South Indian and specially a Tamil festival celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Adi (mid July). The festival coincides with the annual freshes of the rivers and to pay tribute to water's life-sustaining properties. It is celebrated near river basins, water tanks, lakes and wells etc. of Tamil Nadu when the water level in the rises significantly heralding the onset of Monsoon
Adiperukku, water ritual through religious practice
In India the rivers Ganges and Yamuna, Cauvery and Godavari are considered sacred. Just like the earth gives us food, water is considered as a sacred necessity to meet the needs of individuals. People began to worship water in the form of wells, tanks and rivers. It is common among people to throw fruits, saffron cloths, etc., when the rivers and lakes are in spate purely based on the belief that these rivers are the species of female deities. Similarly every temple has sacred wells and tanks, and water in these resources are considered pure. There are cultural developments of the society that highlight many variations on the theme of primeval water which shows that water culture and civilization represent human interest with sacredness.
Adiperukku, otherwise called Padinettam perukku is peculiar to the all the perennial river basins of Tamil Nadu and major lakes water source areas and is intended to celebrate the water rising levels due to the onset of monsoon, which is expected to occur invariably on the 18th day of the solar month, Aadi corresponding to the 2nd or 3 August every year. Hence "Padinettam perukku" - Padinettu signifies eighteen, and Perukku denotes rising. This festival is observed predominately by women in Tamil Nadu. The Adiperukku, as a water-ritual, celebrated by women is to honour nature.
The association of this ritual with fertility, sex and reproduction is both natural and human. This water ritual practice is performed on the banks of Rivers, which is described as a rice-cultivation tract. The history of this ritual practice dates back to the ancient period and was patronised by the Kings and royal households. This ritual practice existed in various historical periods. Aadi is the month for sowing, rooting, planting of seeds and vegetation since it is peak monsoon time when rain is showered in abundance.
Celebration at Dakshina Chitra Centre, Chennai.
Ayyanar the folk deity of Tamil Nadu has his shrine on the outskirts of every village. At Dakshina Chitra we have traditional Tappattam folk performance by Ranga Rajan and troupe from Thanjavur performing during the long 10 day celebration. A procession taking terracotta offerings to the Ayyanar shrine at Dakshina Chitra will be taken out. During the procession other folk arts such as Oyilattam and Devarattam will also be performed. Terracotta figures will be offered to Ayyanar in the end by Ramu Velar the master potter at Dakshina Chitra as done in the villages. The fabulous splendour of the monsoon celebration will finally culminate by the sowing of the navadhanyam or 9 cereals for Adiperukku bringing a joyful conclusion to the 10 day long celebration. The event is sponsored by Tamil Nadu Tourism.
Adiperukku festival in River basins and other water catchement areas
Apart from people flocking at the waterfalls sources of western ghats for pre monsoon and monsoon festivals. People living on the banks of the river beds and other important water generation sources offer pujas to the water goddess and river god. For Adiperukku every year so that when nurseries are raised in the fields subsequently and sustained north- east monsoon. The crop will be ready for harvest during Thai Pongal Celebration in 5 months duration.
According to the Tamil calendar, Aadi is the fourth month of the year. The first day of this month, usually falling on July 16, is celebrated as Aadi Pandigai or Aadi Pirappu, which is an important festival to most Tamils, especially newly-weds. The most visible manifestation of the month of Aadi is the huge 'kolams' that are painstakingly patterned early each morning in front of houses. They are usually bordered with red 'kaavi' and across the front doorway at the top are strung mango leaves. 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 'pudhu maappillai' (new son-in-law) is invited to the girl's house, where the couple is gifted new clothes and other presents.
Aadi is a month of fervour and observances in Goddess related to water-forces and natural forces (e.g. Mariamman temples, Mundakanniamman temples etc.) where 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. No weddings or other similar functions are celebrated during Aadi. It is during this time that the monsoon peaks on the west coast and the rivers of Tamil Nadu, shrunken in the summer heat, get replenished, often to near full levels.
The 18th day of Aadi, usually August 2, is observed as 'Aadi Perukku', a day of offerings and prayers to these rivers, which mean so much to the lives and prosperity of the people. The day is an occasion for rejoicing particularly for those living on the banks of the all the main rivers, its branches and tributaries. There is a belief that young girls who do this puja offering Kaadholai (earrings made of palm leaf), Karugamani (black beads) and Kaapparisi (a sweet made of hand pounded rice and jaggery) will be blessed with good husbands. The families spend the evening by the river, eating preparations of rice like puliyodharai, lemon rice etc. Playing to the tune of Adiperukku folk songs and Kummi group by young women are the major attractions during this festival.
Mulaipari and Adiperukku
Mulaipari (Sprouting or Germination of Nine Grains or Navadhanyam in a basket or clay mud pots) is a very important ritual which takes place at almost every village Goddess celebration. In its most original form, it is an exclusively women’s ritual and is of great importance for the whole village. The participants of the processions carry earthen pots with grown grains (nine different types of grains) inside on their heads and walk towards a river where the content is dissolved. The procession is accompanied by Amman. The ritual is very elaborate. Before the procession starts, special songs and dances ( Kummi Pattu, Kummi ) are performed. The original meaning of the ritual performance is a request to the village Goddess for rain and fertility of land, in order to secure a rich harvest. The women are involved in large groups significantly implying the fertility of women also ensuring continuation of human race with peace and harmony through empowered women.
All the year's major festivals are packed into the six months that follow, culminating with Makara Sankranthi or Thai Pongal in mid- January, giving meaning to the Tamil saying, Aadi Azhaikkum, Thai Thudaikkum