The month of Aadi is one of the most celebrated months and is dedicated to Goddess worship and Thanksgiving for rivers. Among the many festivals celebrated during the month of Aadi, Aadi Perukku is very important. , It is celebrated by the people of Tamil Nadu. Every year it occurs during the months of July-August. Aadi Perukku 2019 will be celebrated on August 03, Saturday. People will go to the banks of rivers and perform Pooja. They also celebrate along with their kith and kin. It is believed that the banks of the rivers are the cradles of civilisation, hence it is important to preserve and conserve water bodies to reap benefits from them.
This festival is also called Pathinettam Perukku, as it is celebrated on the 18th day of the Month of Aadi, and the word “Perukku” signifies ‘to multiply’ The month of Aadi marks the downward movement of the Sun, towards the direction of South-East. This is called Dakshinayana, which indicates the start of the summer solstice. While Makara Sankranthi is celebrated during the month of Thai and is a prominent festival to thank the Sun God, Aadi Perukku is also a thanksgiving festival, to worship rivers, which contribute to the livelihood of many people.
Seven reasons to participate in Aadi Perukku!
Carnivals, festivals and worship play an important role in the life of people, Celebrations add excitement to mundane life and help people to gain happiness. Festivals like Aadi Perukku are celebrated as a community among many families. This builds unity among the families and adds fun and frolic. There are several reasons to celebrate the festival, which not only enrich the fun quotient but also pass on culture and tradition to the next generation.
- The Representation of Innate Culture:
Since time immemorial, the connection between nature and people was evident. Aadi Perukku rituals have been mentioned in older texts and literature like Silapathikaram. The banks of the rivers are thronged by people who want to enjoy the sight of the overflowing river and celebrate with their kith and kin. It is also to be noted that this festival is very important for the people of Tamil Nadu, where people are keen to follow traditions and culture, which have been observed for generations.
- Aadi Perukku is a Farmer’s Festival Too :
Water is very important for farmers, hence Aadi Perukku is observed by farmers to show their gratitude towards the water bodies. Aadi month is the beginning of the Monsoon season, which marks the rise in the water levels across the rivers and water bodies. During this time, farmers start their farming activities like rooting, sowing, and planting of seeds. They pray to the river goddess and invoke her blessings for a good harvest.
- It is a Cradle of Many Rich Rituals:
Rituals and festivals are inseparable. Tradition and culture thrive when they arepassed on from generation to generation. Festivals are celebrated not only for happiness but to uphold culture and tradition. During the olden days, the festival included rituals and feasts which involved the use of products which were available in the places near the dwellings, making it easier to procure the raw materials and also enjoy the festival to the fullest. This helps support the local farmers and artisans.
- Receive Blessings from the Goddess
Goddess Parvati is a benevolent mother and considers all her devotees as her own children. Her grace would make everyone happy and come out of any sort of crisis. The prayers offered to her are in the form of flowers, fruits, new clothes and specially hand cooked delicacies or “Prasadams”, like coconut rice, sweet pongal, curd rice, colored rice, lemon rice, and tamarind rice.
The deity of “Cauvery Amman” is also greatly worshipped by the devotees, on the banks of the Cauvery. Special lamps are also made and are made to float on the river. The lamps are made using jaggery and rice flour and are placed on mango leaves and set afloat on the river.
- It is an important festival for newly wedded couples:
The river banks are thronged by couples who married recently. On the banks of the river, they perform Pooja. Many people bring a variety of rice and have their food on the river banks. It is customary for couples to wear new dresses, which is to be gifted by the bride’s family. The bride gets her Mangal Sutra, the sacred thread changed into new ones. In some families, it is also a part of the ritual, to give the son-in-law gifts on this auspicious day.
- It is a Protection Against Evil Forces:
The banks of Cauvery witness a mammoth crowd, wanting to celebrate the day and take a joyous dip in the flowing water. The Goddess also becomes an amulet to protect the people, the town and water bodies against negative forces. Many people also pray for prosperity in their lives, and their family, thus keeping all the negative omens, obstacles and the bad things away from their lives.
- It is a great way to conserve water :
Festivals like Aadi Perukku remind us of the importance of water. The main purpose of worshipping rivers is to ensure that people treat river bodies with care. This is also a way of sensitizing people and reiterating the importance of water conservation, especially when groundwater has depleted..
It is important to celebrate festivals with pomp and piety, and by understanding the significance and importance of each festival. Culture should be preserved for the future generations too, to understand and cherish the roots or the lineage where they come from.