Thiruvathira Festival 2018 | A Youth Festival in Kerala and Tamilnadu

Thiruvathira Festival 2018 | A Youth Festival in Kerala and Tamilnadu

 

Indian, cultural heritage is the root of the various festivals that are celebrated in the different states of India. Thiruvathira festival is mostly celebrated in Kerala in the month of Dhanu according to the Malayalam calendar. Most of South India worships Lord Shiva with great respect and fervour. Ports of Karnataka and Tamilnadu also celebrate Thiruvathira with great honour and zest.

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Even though Thiruvathira festival is celebrated as the birth day of Lord Shiva, the origin of the day’s festivities are believed to come from the death of Kamdev. Some devotees believe that Kamdev was burnt down in ashes when Lord Shiva opened his third eye in anger. Kamdev is the god of love and this festival is celebrated to pacify the wrath of Lord Shiva. Some devotees believe that after Parvati`s severe meditation, Lord Shiva accepted her as his wife. To celebrate this joyous moment every year this day is celebrated as Thiruvathira festival.

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This festival is mostly observed by womenfolk. The women purify themselves by taking an early morning bath and wearing new, bright coloured clothes. They keep a fast in which consumption of rice is prohibited. There is a ritual of eating paan (betel leaves) by the women. In the evening the idol is placed in the central courtyard and is adorned with scented flowers. Offerings flowers, jaggery, etc are made. The most important ritual is the folk dance performed by the women around the idol of Lord Shiva. This dance is known as Thiruvathirakali or Kaikottikali and is performed by clapping hands to the rhythm of the folk songs, sung by women. This graceful dance is a treat for the onlookers and is a picture of harmony as the women forget all their indifference to gather together to participate in this auspicious moment.

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The first Thiruvathira Festival after marriage in the life of the women holds a great importance and is celebrated on a much grander scale with massive preparations and gusto.

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