Aadi Perukku - Tribute to the Nature
Aadi Perukku is a festival dedicated to nature. The festival is celebrated by Tamil community in order to honor water bodies and their life sustaining qualities. In India, rivers are considered sacred and are offered prayers like Goddess. The rivers are symbol of abundance and bountiful and they help humankind to sustain themselves and also to make a living through agriculture. People thank nature for such blessing and harmony on Aadi Perukku.
It is also a monsoon festival as it is celebrated on the 18th day of the month Aadi (July-August), according to Tamil calendar. The day marks the increase in the level of waters of River Kaveri. Thus the festival is also known as Pathinettam Perukku as ‘Pathinettam’ means eighteen and ‘Perukku’ means ‘rising’, indicating rising of the water level. People thank monsoon rains and Goddess of rain named MariammanMariamman
One story about the origin of Mariamman....
Rituals and Celebrations
People staying on the banks of the River Kaveri offer prayers and sing hymns in her name. People residing in far-away places may pay their tribute to water tanks, lakes or wells. As the water bodies are considered female, people also offer fruits and saffron clothes to the river. Family and friends also get together for the festival and pray for continuous water throughout the year. They also take a dip into the water and worship the Mother Nature. Special food is prepared for the day which includes Payasam It is a South Indian rice pudding, sweet in its taste, made up of rice, broken wheat, milk, sugar, cardamom, cashew and other nutsand Sarakarai It is a sweet Tamil cuisine made up of rice, milk, coconut pieces and jiggeryserved along with coconut rice, lemon rice or curd rice.
Another striking tradition of this festival is ‘Mulaipari’ which means sprouting of nine grains. In this ritual, women carry a procession with an earthen pot on their head. This pot is filled with growing grains of nine types. Women dance and sing along the procession. This tradition is carried out to request the village’s rain and fertility Goddess to keep showering her blessings and provide a rich harvest every year.
According to a legend, ParvatiParvati
After the death of Shiva's first love Sati, Shiva... was immensely in love with ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... and wanted to marry him. She performed austere penance and pleased with her dedication Shiva appeared in front of her. She was blessed to see his divine vision and hence was considered auspicious. Thus on this festival, women also worship Parvati in order to gain a husband like Shiva and learn from her how to fulfill all the duties all a married lady.
Fertility and Reproduction
The festival represents growth and fertility as barren lands or dry lands turn out to be productive after receiving ample of rainfall. Similarly it is believed that women who are newly married should celebrate this festival in order to have a happy married life, to have a child and to ask for a long and healthy life for her husband. As the festival marks the beginning of the month of sowing and plating of seeds similarly for a woman it marks the beginning of a new life with her new family.
The daughter, along with her husband goes to her father’s home where they both are welcomed and the son-in-law is presented with gifts. A feast is also prepared in their honor and elders give their blessings to the couple.