Fair & Festival Tamil Nadu

Fair & Festival Tamil Nadu

Tamilnadu is known for its traditions and culture. The advent of festivals marks the reaffirmation of the cycle of life with its joys and sorrows. Some of these ceremonies are purely pastoral, expressing the joy of life. Others are connected with myths and legends, sacred in our memories. Yet, others are temple festivals, calculated to inspire the citizens with high ideals of ethics. Nevertheless, all of them are associated with religion in some form or other. Festivals of Tamil Nadu are all made fascinating both to the eye and to the mind by appropriate rituals, music, dance and other belongings. Festivals renew bonds both within the family and with the community.


The four-day Harvest festival is celebrated all over the state in January. The festival begins on the last day of the Tamil month with Bhogi Pongal followed by Surya Pongal on the next day. It is on this day that Chakkara Pongal, a delicacy of harvest rice cooked with jaggery, ghee and cashew nuts is offered to the Sun God. The third day, Mattu Pongal is dedicated to the Cattle when cows are bathed and adomed with colourful beads and flowers. Jallikattu, the bullfight is held on the last day known as Kannum Pongal.

Chithirai Festival – Maudrai

The Chithirai Festival is held in the famous Madurai temple, 500 kms. from Chennai. Starts from the Tamil month Chithirai, and ends on the tenth day. The highlight is the procession of Lord Kallagar (Lord Vishnu), the elder brother of Goddess Meenakshi, who proceeds from his abode Alagarmalai, 30 kms. From Madurai, to give away his sister in marriage to Lord Sundareswar. The celebration is filled with pomp and festivity. The Kallagar entering the river Vaigai is indeed a spectacular soul-ful sight.

Dance Festivals – Mamallapuram

The Dance Festival starts on the 25th of December every year and conducted on all Saturdays. Sundays and Government holidays, upto February first week. Dancers and musicians of repute from India and abroad thrill the crowds every year. Folk dances of India are other added attractions.

Natyanjali Dance Festivals

The temple city of Chidambaram pays special tribute to Lord Nataraja the ‘Cosmic dancer’. The setting is truly divine-Chidambaram’s gold-roofed temple, with pillars depicting Lord Nataraja in 108 poses from Bharatha Natyam – Tamil Nadu’s classical dance.

Mahamagam Festival

A holy festival that will bring you to Kumbakonam once in 12 years – the temple city that gets its name from “Kumbha” – the divine pot. Legend has it that Brahma, the Creator, held a pot containing nectar and the seed of creation. Shiva. in the form of a hunter shot an arrow at the pot – spilling the nectar into the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple.

Arubathimoovar Festival

Literally, ‘Arubathimoovar’ refers to the 63 saints of Shiva canonised for leading exemplary lives of devotion and penance. Bronze figures of these 63 saints adorn the magnificent Kapaliswar Temple at Mylapore, Chennai. Once, every year, they are carried in a colourful procession through the streets of Mylapore.

Summer Festivals

The summer festival might find you in the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’, the evergreen Ooty; the exquisite Kodaikkanal or the salubrious heights of Yercaud – where boat races, flower and fruit shows are specially organised. Also, a splendid opportunity to go trekking in any of Tamil Nadu’s other hill stations that promise unforgettable holidays off the beaten track.

Saral Vizha (Kuttalm or Courtallm)

A festival that makes a celebration out of a simple, daily ritualbathing ! And indeed, a bath at the picturesque Courtallam waterfalls is no ordinary event. The healing waters of the roaring Courtallam are famed for their medicinal properties.

Kanthuri Festival

A truly secular festival – where devotees flock to the shrine of saint Quadirwali, believed to do equal good to people of all faiths. One of the descendants of the Saint is chosen as a Peer or spiritual leader and is honoured with offerings. On the tenth day of the festival, the Saint’s tomb is annointed with sandalwood – and later the holy sandal paste, renowned for its healing powers, is distributed to everyone.

Kavadi Festival

Dancing in a hypnotic trance to the rhythm of drums, devotees of Muruga carry the ‘Kavadi’ a flower decked decoration, all the way up the Palani Hills to fulfil their vow. According to Hindu mythology, Idumban is said to have carried two sacred hillocks on two ends of a pole placed on his shoulders.

Velankanni Festival

Wondrous legends surround the church-the most famous being that of the ship-wrecked Portuguese sailors, who in the 16th century, vowed to build a great shrine for the Virgin Mary, for saving their lives in a terrible storm. The Velankanni festival attracts thousands, clad in orange robes to the sacred spot where the ship landed. Equally famous are the Virgin Mary’s miraculous healing powers – earning for the church the name ‘Lourdes of the East’.


Literally, this means the festival of ‘nine nights’ taking unique and different forms in different states of India – all to propitiate the goddess Sakthi, for power, wealth and knowledge.

Karthigai Deepam

Rows of glittering earthen lamps outside every home, and the joyous burst of fire crackers mark Tamil Nadu’s Festival of Lights.

Music Festival

Come December, Chennai celebrates her priceless heritage of caruatic, music and dance to present a galaxy of star artistes, old and new.

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