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Festivals of Tamil Nadu

While festivals are a great way to connect to your extended families and indulge in good food, they are celebrated majorly to welcome seasonal changes. Tamil Nadu celebrates a number of festivals that reflect its rich culture. The region is surrounded by striking Eastern Ghats and Andhra Pradesh in North, Serene Nilgiris and Kerala in West, vivacious Bay of Bengal in East and blue Indian Ocean in South. Delicacies, colorful attires, carnatic music, rich dance forms and a vast plethora of colors are a testimony to Tamil Nadu’s vibrant culture.
Let’s give you an insight into the splendid world of some of the festivals of Tamil Nadu –

Pongal is the chief Harvest Festival celebrated by the people of Tamil Nadu. This 4 days long festival is normally celebrated on the 13th of January and goes on till the 16th. This festival is a gesture of appreciation to the Sun God. Pongal is also the name of a dish that is very famous in the South and is prepared for most of the festivals there. This festive month is called Margali, and the houses are whitewashed and kept ready for Pongal. The main Pongal is celebrated on the second day and is called Thai Pongal (Thai is the 10th month in the Tamil Calendar). All the people get dressed in their traditional best.

Karthigai Deepam Festival
Karthigai Deepam is one of the oldest festivals of Tamil Nadu, and is celebrated in the Tamil month of Karthigai when the star Krithigai is on the ascendant. As per mythological beliefs, Lord Shiva, with his    divine power created Lord Muruga, and the Shivalinga placed in the temple here is Agni Linga. During this festival, people light small lamps, representing the Agni Linga. The festival is celebrated in Tiruvannamalai where people come from far and wide to attend the festival.

Natyanjali Dance Festival
‘Natya’ means dance and ‘Anjali’ means offering. Natyanjali Dance Festival is celebrated where the dancers offer their Dance as tribute to the Lord Nataraja. On this day, dancers from all over India bring out their uniqueness onto one floor in the form of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam, Kathak etc. It is five day long festival starting on the day of Maha Shivratri. The main idea of the festival is to spread the message of ‘Unity in Diversity’ by bringing together diverse dancers together for one cause.

Cape Festival
Celebrated during the month of October, the Cape festival is one of the most important festivals of Tamil Nadu, and is celebrated with great pomp and show. This festival is celebrated in Kanyakumari, which is also an incredible tourist destination. The festival is celebrated over a period of three days, marked by wonderful cultural programs.

Thaipusam is celebrated in Tamil Nadu on a full moon day in the month of Thai in the Tamil calendar. The festival marks the Birthday of Lord Subramaniam, the younger son of Lord Shiva. The main highlight of the festival is when the devotee ‘Kavadi Beareer’ carries the ‘Kavadi’. As part of the ‘Kavadi’ ritual, the devotees carry two pots attached to long stick containing rice, milk, and other things that they wish to offer the Lord and carry this till the Temple. The most difficult Kavadi Offering is known as the Agni-Kavadi. This is the one where the devotee while carrying the Kavadi over his shoulder walks on burning coals.

Tea and Tourism Festival
This one of a kind festival of Tamil Nadu is a three day celebration held in Ooty in the month of January/February. Organised by the Department of Tourism, Government of India and Ministry of Tourism, the festival offers a wide variety of tea. So, either you can taste and then buy the flavours, or you can just enjoy the leisure tea tasting time. The festival also offers delicious delicacies of South India. Different Cultural programs are also conducted, which adds up as another attraction of this festival.
Each festival of Tamil Nadu holds its own unique importance and flavour. If you get an opportunity to attend any of the festivals, then grab it without giving it a second thought. You are definitely going to love it!

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