Karthigai Deepam is the most celebrated festival in Tamilnadu, South India. The birthday of Muruga, son of Shiva, is celebrated as Karthigai Deepam. Devotees celebrate this occasion to honor Muruga and Shiva. It falls on the full moon day of Karthigai month (November – December). This auspicious day marks the victory of divinity over evils and the light over the darkness.
People celebrate Karthigai Deepam in different names across the southern states.Nilgirians celebrate Karthigai Deepam in the name of ‘Lakshabba.’ In Kerala, they call it ‘Thirukarthikai.’ In Tamilnadu, people celebrate Karthigai Deepam in the names of ‘Thirukarthikai Deepam’ and ‘Karthikai Purnima.’
Karthigai Deepam, one of the oldest festivals, was first observed by the Tamils. Historical reference for this oldest festival dates back to the Sangam age (200 BC to 300 AD).Get free horocope updates from astroved.com
Significance of Karthigai Deepam Festival
The lighting of the lamp represents a great spiritual notion. The wick denotes our ego, and the oil used to light the lamp indicates our inborn nature, responsible for the ego to thrive. The flame, the spiritual knowledge, can burn our ego, the wick, by emptying our innate tendencies. This is the spiritual significance of Karthigai Deepam.
It is believed that lighting lamps in our houses can ward off negative forces and bring peace and prosperity to us. The main attraction of the Karthigai Deepam is the lighting of a huge lamp or Agal Vilakku at the top of the Arunachala hill, Thiruvannamalai. It is a symbol of the light of knowledge, which can dispel the darkness of ignorance.
Karthigai Deepam celebration involves lighting mud lamps (Agal Vilakku) inside and outside the houses. People decorate their homes, streets, and rangoli with these traditional lamps. They perform special Poojas to Shiva and Muruga and light lamps in Pooja rooms before the deities.
Karthigai Deepam festival also has cultural significance besides spiritual significance. On this occasion, families and friends gather and share their happiness. They even exchange gifts and sweets, decorate their houses with flowers and lights, and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
Greatness of Karthigai Deepam Festival
Scriptures glorify the greatness of the Arunachala hill through poems. In his literary works, the great sage Adi Sankara refers to Arunachala Hill as “Mount Meru.” Saint Sambandar said in his poems that the light seen on top of the hill on this day is Arunachala himself.
According to Indian mythology, Tiruvannamalai is one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams, representing the element of fire. People also call it Agni Kshetra, as the supreme Shiva manifested as an eternal column of light before Brahma and Vishnu. His ‘Linga’ form in the temple is known as ‘Agni Linga.’
A beacon of light, the Mahadeepam, is lit at the Arunachala hill on Karthigai Deepam. It is believed that the divine energy of Shiva emitted in the form of light radiates all over the cosmos on this day. It is said that this holy light can burnout our bad Karma accumulated over several births. Worshipping this divine light on Karthigai Deepam will usher in prosperity, peace, and liberation (Moksha).
To grace Karthigai Deepam and worship the deities, lakhs of devotees flock to Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai. Girivalam is a unique event conducted on a full moon day. Devotees walk around the circumambulatory path on this bright full moon day.
Worship Shiva, the immortal light within mortals, and Muruga, who taught his father Pranava “OM,” on this Karthigai Deepam and get their immense blessings.