Full Moon Karthikai and Sarvalaya Deepam 26-Nov-2023
The Full Moon day in the Tamil month of Karthikai, known as “Karthikai Pournami” or “Karthikai Deepam,” is a highly auspicious and celebrated occasion in South India, particularly in Tamil Nadu. It is associated with the lighting of lamps and oil lamps, and it is considered one of the most important festivals for Lord Shiva and Lord Murugan devotees.
Here’s some information about Karthikai Pournami and Sarvalaya Deepam:
- Karthikai Pournami: This day falls on the full moon day in the Tamil month of Karthikai, which usually corresponds to November-December in the Gregorian calendar. It is a day of special significance for the worship of Lord Shiva, and devotees often visit Shiva temples to offer their prayers. On this day, it is customary to take a ritual bath in rivers or sacred water bodies and perform pujas (prayer ceremonies) to seek blessings.
- Sarvalaya Deepam: On the evening of Karthikai Pournami, houses, temples, and streets are illuminated with rows of oil lamps, known as “Karthikai Deepam” or “Sarvalaya Deepam.” These lamps are traditionally made from clay or metal and filled with oil, with a wick placed in the center. Lighting these lamps is a way to pay homage to Lord Shiva and Lord Murugan, seeking their blessings and protection. The entire atmosphere is transformed with the soft, warm glow of the lamps, creating a beautiful and spiritual ambiance.
- Pilgrimages: Many devotees undertake pilgrimages to temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Murugan on this day. Famous temples like Arunachaleswarar Temple in Thiruvannamalai and Thiruvannamalai Karthikai Maha Deepam, as well as the Murugan temples in Palani, Thiruchendur, and Swamimalai, attract large numbers of devotees during this time.
- Rituals and Bhajans: Special pujas and rituals are performed in temples, and devotees also participate in bhajans (devotional songs) and prayer sessions. The sound of the temple bells and the scent of incense fill the air as people offer their prayers.
Karthikai Deepam is a time for family gatherings, feasting, and spiritual reflection. Lighting lamps is not only a symbolic act but is believed to dispel darkness, both physical and metaphorical, and bring spiritual illumination and purity. It’s a beautiful festival that fosters a sense of unity and devotion among the people of Tamil Nadu.