Thursday, January 08, 2009

Important festivals in January 2009

Readers of my blog have been asking me to post about the important events in advance so that they can observe the festivals according to our tradition. I have wanted to do it for a long time but every time I missed it. I am making an effort to post the important events of the current month starting January, 2009. Please wish me success.

Here are the important festivals for January which we are celebrating. Customs and traditions and rituals differ from household to household and hence this by no means is a guide to observe the festival. I am posting what we have been observing in our family for generations. I believe the spirit of festival is in remembering and enjoying it with family and friends in whatever manner and not in sticking to rule books.

10th January 2009 – Thiruvathira (2006 Thiruvathira post, all Thiruvathira related posts)
The important rituals for Thiruvathira are an early morning oil bath followed by a visit to Shiva temple. Preparing Kali and Kari and offering to Lord Shiva. Visiting elders of the family and taking blessings from them. Also take along the Kali and Kari you prepared for their reviews. Have a nice Thiruvathira.

13th January 2009 – Bhogi
We don’t observe any special rituals on Bhogi day. In the evening, the house is cleaned and Rangolis made in front of the house for next days Pongal festival.

14th January 2009 – Pongal (all my pongal related posts)
The important ritual observed on Pongal day is preparing Pongal and offering to Lord Suryanarayana.

Actually at home, the practice was to prepare Pongal with just milk and no sugar or jaggery. Our echiyamma would put one jaggery piece on top of the unsweetened Pongal and offer it to Lord Suryanarayana and we all would fight for that piece of jaggery. A portion of this neyvedyam is kept aside for the next day’s offering to crows.

These days, we prepare Sarkkarai Pongal and offer as neyvedyam.

15th January 2009 – Kanu / Mattupongal
The important rituals on Kanu day are taking blessings from the elders, (The elders in the family used to apply turmeric on the foreheads of younger girls and bless them), offering curd rice topped with coconut pieces and turmeric pieces and jaggery pieces to crows and taking oil bath.

Of course, the most important ritual of Kanu is the variety spread for lunch which includes various types of mixed rice and Keerai masiyal and vadams and karuvadams.

Wishing Happy Thiruvathira and Pongal to all!


Jennifer said...

Hi Ammupatti..
Thiruvathira is a fascinating festival. Which part of Kerala is this in or community celebrates it?

Also, does your family celebrate Makara Jyothi?

If you're curious I have created an interfaith calendar with Kerala/Tamil Hindu holidays...

Happy Holidays, Ammupatti!

Ammupatti said...

Hi Jennifer

Thiruvathira is a festival celebrated by the Hindus of Kerala. Where as the Tamil speaking Kerala Iyers celebrate the festival by making a sweet kali and kari in the morning and partaking it after offering as Neyvedyam, the native Keralites observe a fast of Thiruvathira day. This festival is celebrated for the long life of the husband.

Makara Jyothi as far as I know is not a family festival. It is the sighting of a light on top of the hills opposite the famous Sabarimla temple which is celebrated by the devotees.

I had a peek into your blog. It is a wonderful job you are doing, being a non-Indian. I am fascinated by your interest in India and Indian culture. Keep it up.


Anonymous said...

I am searching for some information regarding all vrutham that we observe. I had an argument with one of my friends that it is not allowed to sleep with husband before breaking any vrutham? Am I right? I would like to know the general instructions for taking a vrutham – eg. Thiruvathira, Sivarathri, Ekadasi, Thursday and Monday fasting etc.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog....Can you please help me for my doubts...I Couldn't take vratham yday because of my there any other day to take vratha for missedones like me?

Ammupatti said...

Hi Suja

I am not a vratham person, in the sense I do not observe vrathams that involve great rituals and fasting and all that. Hence, I wont be able to help you with your doubt. I only observe the festivals like Thiruvathira, Karthika, etc., which is over with the Pooja and neyvedyam.


Ammupatti said...

Hi anonymous

If you could not observe the vratham on the designated day due to some reason, you can observe it on the next available day. Old timers say, Monday, Wednesday or Fridays are good days.


DHANYA said...

wow you are great Ammupaati..I tried your kozhukattai... it turned out really well

Ammupatti said...

Hi Dhanya

I am glad your kozhukattais turned out well.
Happy Cooking