AADI PERUKKU CELEBRATION IN TANJORE DISTRICT

The month of Aadi is auspicious for Tamil Goddesses. Aadi perukku is a festival to mark the extra flow in river Cauvery after a dry summer season. It is a celebration of thanking and welcoming Mother Cauvery to the home. Aadi perukku falls on the 18th day of the month of Aadi. People living on the banks of the river Cauvery celebrate Aadi perukku in different ways.

On this day, women consider the river Cauvery as their mother and pray by the river steps called paditturai. Women fast in the name of God and pray for wishes like getting married to a good man, having a child, good health of husband, children, and family members. They make small idols out of the sand from the river beds and place coconuts, fruits, rice soaked in water along with jaggery and ellu (sesame), on the banana leaf and worship it with the Kādholai karukumani (pink earrings made of palm leaves). Married women will exchange holy yellow thread with each other. A variety of rice dishes like Sarkkarai pongal (sweet rice), Tenkai sadham (coconut rice), ellu sadham (sesame rice), puliyodharai (tamarind rice), thayir sadham (curd rice) were prepared and people eat it with their families on the river bank.

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Although most of the rituals were oriented towards women, children too have their share of fun in the festival. Children drag a small wooden chariot (capparam) decorated with gold and silver coloured paper, and flowers towards the banks of the Cauvery with royal honour to worship. Their light a lamp and offer prayers and then take the chariot back home as a procession People believe Mother Cauvery will come along with the children to their homes. The chariot is about three feet high by one foot wide and the children enjoy dragging it and play on the river bank. The wooden chariots are on display and sale near Kumbakonam Mahamaham tank and Tanjore temple before the festival. It is a wonderful sight to behold.

Dr. J. Sumathi
Assistant Professor,
CPRIIR

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